After Trump-era cuts, refugee agencies have rebuilt to accommodate evacuating Afghans
Share Now on:
An earlier version of this story appeared in the Houston Chronicle.
The rapid evacuation and resettlement of more than 88,000 Afghans over the last year has forced refugee agencies across the country to quickly expand and staff up.
Before the evacuation, these agencies had been receiving fewer refugees than ever before due cuts made during the Trump administration.
“Many offices had to close and were unable to basically function,” said Sunil Varghese, an advocate with the International Refugee Assistance Project.
Agencies that didn’t close altogether drastically scaled down refugee services. Then, when large numbers of Afghan evacuees started arriving last year, agencies were responding with minimal staff.
Though chaotic, agency leaders in Houston said they learned and grew from the experience and are prepared to resettle more refugees in 2023.
To listen to the full story, use the media player above.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.