Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that Ohio received notification from the federal government that 855 Afghan evacuees will come to Ohio through the U.S. Department of State’s Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA) Program.
The first group of Afghan evacuees totals 37,000 individuals nationwide. The federal government has told Ohio that the placements will be to eight local resettlement agencies located mainly in northeast and central Ohio
“These are individuals who have been partners with United States and deserve our support in return for the support they’ve given us,” said Governor DeWine. “Thank you to the resettlement agencies and communities who have stepped forward and demonstrated they have the resources necessary to help these individuals in their time of need.”
The purpose of the federal APA Program is to provide newly arrived Afghans with initial relocation services as they begin to rebuild their lives in the United States. The federal government is screening and vetting particpants in this program. These are individuals who have not yet received refugee status, nor a special immigrant visa.
They are arriving to the U.S. under a legal mechanism known as humanitarian parole. Managed by the federal government, humanitarian parole provides temporary authorization to enter the U.S., based on humanitarian or significant public benefit reasons. (Details of the program can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/allieswelcome)
The situation remains fluid, but placements are expected to occur over the next six months as follows:
|Agency||City||Total Approved for APA|
|International Institute of Akron||Akron||150|
|Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio||Cincinnati||50|
|Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services||Cleveland||100|
|U.S. Committee for Refugees and Imigrants Cleveland||Cleveland||100|
|Community Refugee and Immigration Services||Columbus||250|
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Refugee Services Program has been working with local resettlement agencies to provide the federal government with information on capacity.
Actual services will be provided by the receiving agency. While individuals are authorized to work, State-provided resources are limited to two narrow types.
Children under the age of 18 who are granted humanitarian parolee status are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Additionally, children under the age of 21 and pregnant women are eligible for Medicaid.
Governor Mike DeWine had always said the state will welcome refugees from Afghanistan.
“They are certainly welcomed to Ohio. These are refugees who have helped United States. They have been interpreters, they have done different things and they are in danger if they stay in Afghanistan. We made a commitment to them and we need to follow up on that commitment,” said Governor Mike DeWine.
“These are people who will enrich our community and the state.”