About three dozen unaccompanied Afghan kids have been positioned in US authorities custody after being evacuated from Afghanistan through the hurried withdrawal in latest weeks, US officers instructed Reuters.
The kids arrived on the Kabul airport with out a guardian or authorized guardian and have been referred to the US Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) refugee workplace upon arriving in america, in line with a US official who requested anonymity to debate inner authorities operations.
Of 34 Afghan kids taken into US authorities custody as of Thursday, 24 stay after some have been shortly positioned with shut members of the family. The kids in custody are housed in authorities shelters skilled with caring for Afghan kids, mentioned the official, who wouldn’t disclose the situation for security causes.
The unaccompanied kids are a part of a rising variety of refugees airlifted out Afghanistan in what Joe Biden’s administration says is likely one of the largest airlifts in historical past.
Since 14 August, america has airlifted about 105,000 folks in another country, a determine that features US residents, Afghans and international nationals.
The US authorities has not mentioned what number of Afghans have arrived in america, however advocates say 1000’s have already entered the nation.
The unaccompanied kids being positioned in US authorities custody don’t have dad and mom in america and, in some circumstances, the dad and mom are deceased, the official mentioned.
“If their dad and mom aren’t right here now however will probably be, we’d like a spot for them to go within the interim after which they are going to be united when their dad and mom get right here,” the official mentioned.
The kids make up a fraction of the practically 15,000 unaccompanied kids within the care of the HHS refugee workplace, most of whom come from Central America and arrive on the US-Mexico border.
An HHS spokesperson mentioned in an announcement that it was working to make sure the youngsters can be “positioned with licensed care suppliers which can be capable of present culturally and linguistically applicable companies”.
HHS is working to recruit extra Afghan foster households to its community within the occasion among the kids can’t be positioned with members of the family in america, the official mentioned.
A lot of the unaccompanied Afghan kids are older teenagers, the official mentioned.