White House: Afghans Being Prioritized for Evacuation with American Citizens

TOPSHOT - Afghan passengers sit as they wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil …
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

The White House has confirmed that Afghans are being prioritized for evacuation from Afghanistan along with American citizens.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden’s administration is prioritizing the evacuation of Afghans applying for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), P-1 visas, and P-2 visas with the thousands of Americans stranded in the country.

According to Psaki, there remain about 11,000 “self-identified” Americans still in Afghanistan who have yet to be evacuated by U.S. Armed Forces.

“Well, we are prioritizing a number of groups — American citizens, embassy employees, and their families, our locally employed staff, SIV holders and applicants, Afghans who would be eligible for P-1, -P-2 refugee programs, which includes, by the way, translators who may have assisted media organizations and others,” Psaki said.

As Breitbart News reported, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said that over the last 24 hours, seven C-17 aircraft evacuated 700 to 800 passengers — including only 165 Americans. That total indicates potentially only 1.5 percent of the Americans in Afghanistan have been evacuated thus far.

On Monday, Kirby had suggested that American citizens were not necessarily being prioritized for evacuation from Afghanistan ahead of Afghans.

“Once we get more airlift out of Kabul, we’re going to put as many people on those planes as we can,” Kirby told Fox News. “There will be a mix, not just American citizens, but perhaps some Afghan [Special Immigrant Visa] applicants as well.”

“We’re going to focus on getting people out of the country, then sorting it out at the next stop,” Kirby said. “It’s not going to be just Americans first, then SIV applicants.”

The Biden administration is looking to resettle, for the time being, about 22,000 Afghans across the U.S. Over the last 20 years, nearly a million refugees have been resettled in the nation — more than double that of residents living in Miami, Florida, and would be the equivalent of annually adding the population of Pensacola, Florida.

Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to research, and each refugee costs taxpayers about $133,000 over the course of their lifetime. Within five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here

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