On Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a Resolution of Support for a 3-Step Plan for the Resettlement of Afghan refugees.
“What I have learned over the last 46 years living in the U.S. is America’s opportunity is our greatest weapon against totalitarianism and oppression,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
Orange County Chairman Andrew Do represents Little Saigon, California, the largest population of Vietnamese Americans in the United States. A former refugee, Andrew Do and his family were airlifted from Saigon on April 29, 1975, as part of Operation Frequent Wind, the largest aerial evacuation in history.
“We remain the beacon that inspires and motivates people around the world to have hope, aspire and fight for basic human rights. That’s why I urge the United States Congress and President Biden to act swiftly to create an orderly process to admit Afghan refugees and establish opportunities for resettlement in the United States,” he added.
Currently, the United States annual refugee admissions cap is just 62,500, a level set by President Joe Biden on May 3, 2021, which creates a structural legal barrier to Afghan refugee entry.
According to Reuters, from October 1, 2020 to February 5, 2021, the United States resettled only 1,501 refugees, according to U.S. State Department data shared with refugee groups. The Department of Homeland Security must have the necessary resources and effective management to process all applications.
“The compassion that the United States has shown to immigrants has led to the vibrant and diverse communities that we have today,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Vice Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “Our Federal government must step up and honor our history of providing freedom and opportunity to immigrants seeking refuge.”
The 3-Step Plan, introduced by Chairman Andrew Do and Vice Chairman Doug Chaffee during the August 24 Board of Supervisors Meeting, was added to Orange County’s Federal legislative platform, and staff was directed to work with county lobbyists to advocate on behalf of this plan to all relevant federal authorities.
The 3-Step Plan for the Resettlement of Afghan refugees include:
- President Joe Biden, in consultation with Congress, to immediately increase the cap on refugees to include an additional 100,000 Afghan refugees in the current year.
- Adequate resources be allocated to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to expedite the process of all immigration applications and the U.S. Department of Justice to grant parole to Afghan refugees, who shall be housed at processing centers throughout the U.S. while awaiting national security clearance.
- Once Afghan refugees have been granted parole and screened, the Federal government should establish partnerships with private organizations and non-profit entities to support refugee resettlement in communities across the U.S.