On Tuesday Russell Smith, LSMW, CEO of Refugee Services of Texas made a statement, saying the Refugee Services of Texas have helped relocate 75 Afghan SIV holders to four cities in Texas.
“Between Aug. 1 and Aug. 23, Refugee Services of Texas has welcomed 75 Afghan SIV holders, their spouses, and children,” he said.
As of Aug. 23, 2021, the city of Dallas 105 Afghan families still waiting to be resettled, with a projected 144 more to arrive by September 23, 2021. In the other cities across the state of Texas, those numbers vary. Since August 23, Afghan families have arrived in Houston with 23, Fort Worth with 59, Austin with 114, and Amarillo with zero.
Those same cities have more families coming and will need more help with finding them places to live, Smith said. Austin has the largest projections, with 185 coming in September.
“RST continues to need the public’s support in resettling the brave Afghans and their families who are now paying the price of giving our country and our military so much,” Smith said. We are extraordinarily grateful for the outpouring of support from the public so far and from our tireless volunteers. Opportunities to support RST’s work in resettling SIVs can be found at https://www.rstx.org/make-an-impact/.”
All the recipients of the Special Immigrant Visas are given security background checks and checked for any health issues that could impact the public’s health, including husbands, their wives, and children. These security checks include iris scanning, voiceprints, palm prints, and facial photos, according to CNN.
Many Afghans had already started the application process prior to the takeover from the Taliban. Those families who were at the end of that process were taken from Afghanistan first. It may take several months and potentially years for those applicants to get the full approval of their Visas, as the program is having an enormous amount of backup due to the number of new applications they’ve received.