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The Process for Afghan Refugees Seeking Asylum

Afghanistan evacuation military 082421
Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/AP
U.S. Marine Corps
In this image provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, a Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit walks with a family during evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP)

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan are set to return home as the United States ends its longest war — but for Afghan refugees fleeing their home country, the next steps aren’t as clear.

Since 1973, The Pacific Gateway Center has worked to resettle refugees who arrive on Hawaiʻi's shores. Terrina Wong, deputy director for Social and Immigration Services at the center, spoke about the stringent vetting process for those seeking asylum in the United States.

Wong said that while the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants determined Hawaiʻi was not qualified to receive refugees from Afghanistan at this time, the Pacific Gateway Center is standing by should that change.

Click the "Listen" button to hear this interview from The Conversation on Aug. 31, 2021.

Savannah Harriman-Pote is the energy and climate change reporter.
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