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Afghan nationals to be placed in Mobile as first group of refugees resettles in U.S.

The Biden administration earlier this week began the process of notifying states on the number of Afghan nationals that are slated to arrive in their communities as part of the first group of around 37,000 refugees that are to be resettled in the United States.

Alabama is set to take in 10 Afghan refugees who will be resettled in Mobile, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Axios reports that among the thousands of refugees that will be resettled across the nation are individuals who assisted the United States in Afghanistan and have sought to obtain Special Immigrant Visas (SIV). However, officials with the U.S. State Department have reportedly declined to provide details on the numbers.

In the meantime, individuals who do not hold green cards or SIVs will reside on U.S. military bases.

In a released statement, Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) called the situation “fluid” and noted that her office would work with local leaders and members of Congress in learning more about the situation.

“We have received notification from the State Department that they are working to place 10 individuals with a community partner in Mobile,” said Ivey. “This situation is fluid, and we will be working closely with our congressional delegation and Mayor Stimpson to understand the process and impact on our state.”

Ivey said the state must “remain vigilant” regarding efforts to help those who played a role in assisting with U.S. military efforts in the Middle Eastern country.

“Like other Alabamians, the shocking images of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan are hard to erase from our memories,” she added. “Just as we remain concerned about the Americans and our allies that were left behind, our nation owes a debt of gratitude to those allies who actively helped our soldiers and diplomats stay safe during our two decades in the country. Our state will always do our part, but we must remain vigilant to make sure we are helping those who helped us.”

Currently, Catholic Social Services, Archdiocese of Mobile is the only “Replacement Designee” recognized by Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is housed under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Archdiocese of Mobile executive director Marilyn King told Yellowhammer News that an additional organization, Birmingham-based Inspiritus, has applied to become a resettlement agency.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL