No Afghan evacuee from the federal program comes to Miami Valley; local agency playing a different role – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

MIAMI VALLEY – Ohio will receive 855 of the 37,000 Afghans evacuated to the country under the US State Department’s Afghan Placement and Assistance program, but none will be resettled in the Miami Valley at this time, according to a local resettlement agency.

Laura Roesch, general manager of Catholic Social Services for the Miami Valley, told News Center 7’s Candace Price that they would not be welcoming any of the 855 Afghan evacuees coming to Ohio.

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“Catholic Social Services focused our decision on Afghan refugees to support SIV, the special immigrant visa program,” Roesch said.

SIVs are a type of immigrant visa that can take up to a year to process. They generally require applicants to have been a long-term employee of the US government.

Roesch said the decision to support SIVs instead of those going through the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program due to the limited financial assistance they will have.

“Evacuees who come through the humanitarian aid program will have very limited financial assistance to support themselves and do not come with all the resources from the resettlement program,” Roesch said.

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Housing limitations in the Dayton area also contributed to the decision.

“The Dayton area has faced challenges in accessing sufficient stock of affordable housing, not only for refugees, but for anyone with modest incomes,” said Roesch.

Miami Valley Catholic Social Services said it has relocated 44 SIVs in the past six years. They told News Center 7 that they expect that number to increase with the current situation in Afghanistan, but do not have the exact number of SIVs they will be hosting at this time.

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