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U.S. schools expected to play essential role in resettling Afghans

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U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rachael Scott, a radio operator with 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, Charlie Battery, from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, interacts with an Afghan child during Operation Allies Welcome on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Sept. 1, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Tia Dufour)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Education.]

By John Bailey
Real Clear Education

The hastily executed withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has created a rapidly unfolding refugee crisis. America’s public schools and non-profits, while seemingly far removed from the havoc abroad, have an essential role to play in helping to resettle thousands of Afghan allies and their families in communities, but only if careful and intentional preparations are made now.

The U.S. and its allies evacuated more than 123,000 individuals. Among them were thousands of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, but most were Afghan civilians who aided the American war effort and their families. Ultimately, officials from the White House anticipate admitting about 95,000 of those Afghans to the U.S. This is the right decision by the Biden administration. The lives of these Afghans were in danger because of their role in supporting America’s military and diplomatic efforts as interpreters, cultural advisers, and translators. We have an obligation to help them find safety outside of the retaliatory reaches of the Taliban.

However, the lack of planning evident in the withdrawal is also apparent in the refugee resettlement.

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