Evacuated Afghans Demand Chain Migration of Extended Families, Complain Accommodation Is Inadequate

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: People believed to have recently arrived from Afghanistan stand in the courtyard of a hotel near Manchester Airport on August 25, 2021 in Manchester, England. The British government recently announced that it planned to transport thousands of Afghans to the UK as part of its …
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Two of the Afghan men evacuated from the Taliban-run country with their wives and children under the government’s generous refugee programme have called for extended families to be brought over as well, with one complaining that it was taking too long to get permanent accommodation.

Shams, a former communications officer who worked at the British embassy in Kabul, was brought over with his wife and six children and had been staying for over a month in a hotel in Buckinghamshire.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, Shams said that he appreciates the opportunity to be in the UK, but more should be done for his “colleagues and relatives… in hiding from the Taliban”.

Asked whether the UK owed it to his extended family and the rest of the embassy colleagues, Shams replied: “Yes.”

“I just remind Priti Patel of her words, when she said that she owes a debt of gratitude to the Afghan people, I think that’s the best way to put it, and we really hope the UK will continue to try its best to evacuate the people who deserve it,” he said.

Former interpreter Nazir, also brought over with his wife and children, likewise said he is trying to have his relatives evacuated from Afghanistan, saying they are being tortured and intimidated.

Shams also seemed dissatisfied with his accommodation, saying the “noise levels” at the hotel are “not manageable” and that the Home Office should “speed up the process to help us find suitable housing” so that the family of eight can “start our life properly”.

Men like Shams and Nazir arrived thanks to the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), which safeguards former employees of the British military and other UK authorities and their families. Initial estimates had put the number of those eligible to 5,000, but that figure could be as high as 10,000. So far, the UK has admitted 8,000 under the ARAP scheme.

Last week the British government announced that ARAP refugees would be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain, or the chance to upgrade their temporary status to ILR, rather than the five years’ residency initially offered. This means they can settle in the UK permanently, with the right to work.

Under Operation Warm Welcome, there would also be made available millions of pounds for extra school places, the NHS, and accommodation, as well as hundreds of university scholarships and additional forms of support.

The Home Office is also running a second Afghan refugee scheme, the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), which will evacuate mostly women, minorities, and children. The government has pledged to bring over 20,000 in the coming years, aiming to resettle 5,000 by the end of this year alone.

Last week it was reported that two-thirds of local government authorities were reluctant to house the refugees because they were struggling to ensure social housing and school places for locals. Britain has also seen a record arrival of illegal aliens crossing the English Channel, needing to be housed. To date, nearly 12,500 illegals have landed this year alone.


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