A new series of challenges has crashed through the efforts to try and resettle the thousands of Afghan refugees inside the United States as a number of evacuation flights hailing from two of the American processing facilities have been grounded.
Set in place by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the grounding of the flights was sent down based on “health safety concerns,” as stated by an agency document that was looked over by The Associated Press. As reported by the News outlet, the call came down after recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to put a stop to the evacuation flights.
Also reported by the AP, U.S. officials stated that the pause will “have a severe impact on the evacuation operation.” The processing centers that were grounded are located at Ramstein Air Base in Germany and another base in Qatar.
“The halting of the flights is a problem for the United States in part because many of the evacuees already have been at the Ramstein military base longer than the 10-day limit Germany set in allowing the U.S. to use the country as a transit site,” stated the AP.
During and in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan back at the end of August, the two bases in question were two of the many staging areas used to filter and process the Afghan refugees for their resettlement. Quite a few of these refugees are currently planned to be moved to various locales around the U.S.
The report put out by the AP also went on to state that there were roughly 10,000 individuals at Ramstein currently waiting for their resettlement and that multiple officials have stated that the pause would have a strong “adverse effect” on them. The reason behind the CDC’s “health and safety concerns” have as of yet not been revealed.
As reported by The Daily Wire, there has already been a large wave of Afghan refugees spilling out into the area around Northern Virginia. The large injection of people has resulted in massively increased numbers of patients at local hospitals which have left some of the native-born Americans unable to receive care.
“A hospital near the Dulles Expo Center that federal officials designated as a go-to spot for medical treatment began running out of available beds, forcing the hospital to turn away non-Afghan patients who weren’t in need of critical care,” stated The Washington Post.