Afghans refugees: More than 300 arrive in Canada

Ottawa –

More than 300 people from Afghanistan arrived in Canada today, bringing the total number resettled since the Taliban took over the country to 30,000, according to the federal government.

A flight from Pakistan landed at Pearson International Airport in Toronto this morning.

Those on board included those who assisted Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, the family of a former interpreter, and personally assisted refugees.

After the Taliban took power in August 2021, Canada committed to resettle at least 40,000 Afghans through a number of special programs.

Ottawa has faced criticism for its disorderly attempts to keep its people safe when the Taliban occupied Kabul, and many believe Canada closed its embassies earlier than other countries. points out.

The federal government says it’s on track to reach the 40,000-person target by the end of 2023, but acknowledged in a news release that there are significant challenges.

Canada is prioritizing the most vulnerable Afghans “including women leaders, human rights defenders, persecuted religious minorities, 2SLGBTQI+ individuals and journalists,” news from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Service Release says.

As of the end of March, 18,000 people had applied to come to Canada as part of a special immigration program aimed at people and their families who assisted Canadian diplomats and military personnel during missions.

According to data released by the USCIS, 11,990 applications have been approved so far, but only 9,875 have arrived in Canada by March 30.

A separate special program has been created to assist large families of former interpreters already living in Canada. The government aims to keep 5,000 on the stream, and by the end of March he said 1,285 had arrived.

By that time, there were another 15,875 people in Canada who fell under government-supported, privately-sponsored refugee programs.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on April 12, 2023.

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