White House launches new program for individuals to sponsor resettlement of Afghan refugees

Afghan refugees at the airport. Anna Moneymaker / Getty Images

The Biden administration on Monday announced a new initiative allowing private citizens to sponsor the resettlement of Afghan refugees, “a move that could strengthen a US resettlement system weakened and tested by thousands of recent arrivals,” writes Call.

Under this agreement, groups of citizens can form what are known as ‘sponsorship circles’ to help refugees with basic services and tasks traditionally handled by nonprofit organizations – such as the obtaining housing, accessing government benefits, and providing food and clothing – during their first 90 days in the United States, for example Call. Local communities and organizations like Welcome.US, Airbnb, Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services, among others, will also support the program, he notes. ABC News.

“Americans from all walks of life have expressed a keen interest in helping welcome these people,” the State Department wrote in its announcement. “The Circle of Sponsorship for Afghans program builds on this momentum of support and allows individuals to become directly involved in welcoming and integrating our new neighbors.

Groups of at least five adults must apply together and complete background checks, raise a minimum of $ 2,275 per refugee, pass a “knowledge check” and submit a strong “reception plan” in order to become sponsors, explains ABC News according to Community. Sponsorship Hub, the association in charge of validating and training sponsors.

“By providing the opportunity to sponsor a family, this program will create lasting bonds between Afghans and the communities that host them,” said Sarah Krause, Executive Director of the Community Sponsorship Hub.

The administration brought more than 65,000 Afghan refugees to military bases nationwide following the US Withdrawal Operation in August. Authorities expect some 30,000 more arrivals next year, according to ABC News.

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