Afghan refugees arrive at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin

Afghan refugees arrive in Wisconsin
Afghan refugees arrive in Wisconsin
Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2021 at 6:15 PM CDT
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FORT McCOY, Wis. (WMTV) - Afghan refugees have begun arriving at Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin for temporary housing and support after the Taliban took over their home country.

Base officials say Afghans with special immigrant visa applicants, their families and other individuals at risk began arriving at Volk Field on Sunday. Once they arrive, they are bused over to Fort McCoy, which is about 100 miles northwest of Madison. These at-risk individuals include women, journalists, professor and students attending girls’ schools.

The refugees will be housed in military barracks, typically used by members of the military.

It is not immediately clear how many refugees Fort McCoy will be receiving or how long they will stay. It is not a permanent site, though, and eventually, the Afghan refugees will be placed in locations around the country. An administration official says that Fort McCoy is one of four military bases being used to temporarily house Afghan refugees.

I’m outside Fort McCoy, where Afghan refugees have been arriving since yesterday.

Posted by John Stofflet on Monday, August 23, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers said Monday that all updates will be coming from the U.S. State Department.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson stated Monday that he was glad refugees were able to safely reach the U.S.

“In the midst of the disastrous abandonment of our allies in Afghanistan, I am glad that some will be able to reach safety in the U.S.,” Johnson said. “I’m confident the military personnel at Fort McCoy will fulfill their role with dedication and professionalism.”

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has not released a statement on refugees arriving in the Badger State. She traveled to Mineral Point, Platteville and Steuben Monday to discuss tax relief for craft beverage makers.

About 1,000 Army and Army Reserve members are being brought in to support the refugees.

Refugees, American citizens and those with green cards will also be tested for COVID-19 as they arrive and will not be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but it will be offered.

After they are tested at the airport, American citizens and those with green cards can head home. The administration official noted everyone else will head to military bases for a medical screening, to receive health care services and be given help with applying for work authorizations or other processes before moving to their next destination.

So far, an estimated 30,000 people have evacuated from Afghanistan.

This is a complex process, and we understand that this follows a harrowing journey. Our goal is to safely and efficiently welcome these individuals, while taking all appropriate safety and public health measures. We are grateful to the national security professionals conducting this work and to the refugee resettlement organizations who work tirelessly on behalf of these individuals. And we are moved by the generosity of so many Americans who are volunteering, donating, and otherwise welcoming these Afghans to the United States.

An administration official

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