White House officials tell lawmakers they will need $1 billion in emergency funding for Afghan visa effort

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By Jeremy Herb and Phil Mattingly, CNN

The Biden medication has informed lawmakers it volition request astir $1 cardinal successful exigency funds arsenic it moves to rapidly evacuate Afghan translators and different unit who worked with the US subject and are trying to permission the country, according to aggregate officials acquainted with the matter.

The medication has not submitted a ceremonial petition but did supply briefings successful a bid of conversations connected Friday astir securing the further funds for the State and Defense section efforts to grow and streamline the Afghan peculiar migrant visa program.

The White House outlined the request for $500 cardinal for the State Department and up to $500 cardinal for the Department of Defense, according to a committee aide.

The propulsion for further funds comes arsenic lawmakers successful some parties person ramped up the unit connected the White House to determination rapidly to code the thousands of Afghans and their families who look imminent information amid Taliban advances arsenic the US departs the country. The petition has bipartisan enactment — and could beryllium included successful a information supplemental backing bundle that is being negotiated connected Capitol Hill, the sources said.

There’s been an acute emergence successful civilian casualties successful Afghanistan since May, according to information from the UN’s Assistance Mission to Afghanistan. The emergence coincides with planetary subject forces opening their withdrawal from the country, pursuing President Joe Biden‘s April announcement of US troops’ drawdown.

In immoderate of its astir forceful comments to date, the State Department connected Friday condemned “recent reports of unit and atrocities against interpreters and different Afghans” by the Taliban and called connected the militant group’s enactment to some “condemn these atrocities and violations of basal rights” and “proactively forestall their forces from carrying retired these actions connected the ground.”

Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the apical Republican connected the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters that negotiators are “really close” connected a woody for the wide backing package, which is chiefly designed to nonstop funds to unafraid the US Capitol analyzable successful the aftermath of the January 6 attack.

The Biden medication past week announced that the archetypal radical of applicants would beryllium relocated from Afghanistan to Fort Lee successful Virginia, and US officials are successful talks with further countries to big Afghans successful the pipeline. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the archetypal tranche is estimated to comprise 2,500 radical — 700 applicants and their contiguous household members.

The archetypal radical that is being relocated is simply a tiny information of the wide fig of astir 20,000 Afghans who are successful the Special Immigrant Visa pipeline. About fractional of those 20,000 are successful the precise preliminary stages of the process and request to instrumentality enactment earlier the US authorities tin statesman processing their cases, a State Department spokesperson said this month.

Other Afghan applicants who are further on successful the process but person not been approved volition spell to US subject bases overseas oregon to 3rd countries. The medication has not publically announced agreements with imaginable 3rd countries astatine this point.

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CNN’s Manu Raju and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.

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