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Opinion For some Afghan refugees, there is no safety net

Afghan refugees meet with workers in the processing center inside an Afghan refugee camp at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, N.M., on Nov. 4, 2021. (Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)
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Glenn Kessler’s May 29 Fact Checker column on the categories of Afghan refugees, “Numbers behind last year’s chaotic Afghanistan evacuation come into focus,” was informative, but it missed a significant category: U.S. citizens.

Our nation evacuated families led by an American citizen. These evacuees also came through the airport chaos to land in the United States. But now what? They have no rent subsidies. They have no credit references here. It is difficult to find jobs for those who speak little English, even if they are citizens. Their work experience can be impressive, though it was in Afghanistan, as are their professional references. How do refugees get to the jobs they find? What about their relatives — who are not citizens yet cannot safely return to Afghanistan because of their U.S. ties? They must apply for longer-term residency and work permits.

There is no safety net in the United States for those whose work with our government put them and their families at great risk in their home country.

Sue Marcus, Fairfax

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