Fort Bliss, Texas – The government of the president Joe biden showed for the first time the interior of a military base where the afghans Evacuees are examined, faced with questions about how refugees are cared for and examined.
The three-hour tour at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, was the first time the press had been granted wide access to one of eight US military facilities that house Afghans. Still, reporters, including those from The Associated Press, were not allowed to speak to evacuees or spend more than a few minutes in areas where they were gathered. Military officials said it was for “privacy reasons.”
Nearly 10,000 Afghan evacuees are housed at the base while they undergo medical and security checks before being relocated to the United States.
On Friday, children with soccer and basketball balls were playing outside huge white tents. A young woman was still wearing dirty clothes.
Hundreds of air-conditioned tents used as bedrooms, and dining rooms were set up in this area of the base in overgrown plots of land, a landscape that somehow resembles parts of their homeland.
Under the program called “Operation Allies Welcome,” some 50,000 Afghans are expected to be admitted to the United States, including translators, drivers and others who helped the US military during 20 years of war and who feared retaliation from the Taliban.
Moment when the Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul. (The Associated Press)
A member of the Taliban sits in the back of a machine-gunned vehicle in front of the main gate leading to the Afghan presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. (The Associated Press)
American soldiers stand guard at the airport in Kabul, as countless people try to leave the country. (The Associated Press)
Members of the Taliban raise their flag in a province of Afghanistan. (The Associated Press)
Afghans displaced by the conflict with the Taliban. (The Associated Press)
Passengers walk to a terminal at the airport in Kabul to leave Afghanistan. In the background, a photo of President Ashraf Ghani, who left the country in the midst of the crisis with the Taliban. (The Associated Press)
Hundreds of people run alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway at the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 16, 2021. (The Associated Press)
Residents of Afghanistan wait hours in line to withdraw money from a bank in Kabul. (The Associated Press)
An American helicopter flies over the chaos in Afghanistan. (The Associated Press)
Nearly 130,000 were airlifted out of Afghanistan in one of the largest mass evacuations in US history. Many of those people are still in transit, subject to security checks in other countries, including Germany, Spain, Kuwait and Qatar.
So far, no one at Fort Bliss has been released for resettlement.
The government also uses the base to house thousands of immigrant children, mostly from Central America, who have crossed the US-Mexico border alone. Children stay there until they can be reunited with relatives already in the United States or with a guardian, usually a family friend, or sent to a state-licensed facility.