The scenes we have witnessed from Afghanistan have been harrowing, and our hearts are with all those whose lives have been affected by this humanitarian crisis.
Now, tens of thousands of our allies from Afghanistan are in the process of being resettled to cities around the United States – including Nashville. In the coming weeks and months, Nashville is preparing to welcome nearly 300 Afghans – with NICE resettling about half through our agency.
During this critical time, we are leaning on the Nashville community to help provide basic needs for incoming Afghan families: affordable housing, transportation, jobs, food, and healthcare – the tools they need to become self-sufficient, and successfully transition into life in the United States.
*Please note – at this time, NICE has limited storage space for donated furniture and food. We are working with our community partners to coordinate the storage of donated goods.
Facts about Resettlement of Afghan Allies in Nashville
290 Afghans are projected to be resettled in Nashville between two resettlement agencies. The number was reached through collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Metro Nashville Police Department, Metro Public Health Department, private medical providers, and other agencies providing services to refugees. We expect Afghans to arrive in Nashville gradually over 6 months between now and the end of March.
Nashville International Center for Empowerment and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville – resettlement agencies that have been engaged in this work for several years, will receive arrivals and serve them through the Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) program. APA is a mirror program of the Reception and Placement (R&P) program administered by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Federal aid via APA is available for 30-90 days.
Understanding “Humanitarian Parole”
Humanitarian parole refers to parole that is granted based on an urgent humanitarian need or significant public benefit. This permits certain Afghan nationals to come into the United States for a period of two years. Once granted humanitarian parole, Afghan nationals may be eligible to apply for immigration status through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Some individuals granted humanitarian parole status include those who have contracted with the U.S. military or government but have not completed Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) processing before they had to flee their country.
Vetting Prior to Arrival in the United States
All arrivals from Afghanistan are thoroughly vetted before their arrival in the United States. Vetting procedures include multiple rounds of biometric and biographic screening, and matching results with a variety of law enforcement and intelligence agency watchlists. The Departments of Homeland Security and Defense conduct vetting in coordination with intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), and additional Intelligence Community (IC) partners.
All arrivals are tested for COVID-19 upon arriving in the United States. Full medical screenings, immunizations, COVID- 19 vaccines, and other vaccines are being provided as well.