Afghan refugees already resettling in Iowa as thousands evacuate


DES MOINES, Iowa – A national non-profit organization with offices in Des Moines is helping Afghan refugees come to Central Iowa.

The organization U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants -Des Moines says its priority is to help Afghan refugees to Central Iowa as the Taliban take over Afghanistan.

According to the non-profit, 40 refugee families will resettle in Central by next year. So far, one family from Kabul lives in Des Moines.

“We have one family that’s arrived. They have three little kiddos and are staying with their family members. So we’ve already started to see these arrivals, and they came directly from Kabul, so we are hoping to see more soon,” said Laura Thako, the Development Associate at USCRI – Des Moines.

Thako says the organization is helping refugees who worked as allies to America during the war resettle in Iowa. She says moving refugees to a new country is challenging. Thako says traveling to the airport safely in Kabul and helping refugees without a special immigrant visa are just a few challenges refugees face. So America is processing refugees once they reach America, according to Thako.

“Some of the paperwork that would normally happen overseas [once they] arrive at Fort Lee, just outside of Richmond, Virginia, and then being processed from there.”

Once refugees exit the planes in America, USCRI – Des Moines representatives are there to greet them.

Once refugees resettle in Iowa, USCRI – Des Moines will provide housing, education, job resources, and counseling services.

The organization is also taking donations to help families resettle in Iowa. Click here to donate.

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