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Lane County Immigrant & Refugee Program Prepared To Accept Afghan Refugees

Mohammad Rahmani/Unsplash.com


Catholic Community Services of Lane County's Refugee and Immigration program says they’re prepared to help any incoming Afghan refugees. 

While places like Portland and Seattle have begun taking in refugees from Afghanistan, Lane County hasn’t yet.


Christine Zeller-Powell, a lawyer with the program, said the U.S. has provided a pathway for Afghans with Special Immigration Visas, or SIVs to seek refuge in the country.

“If the individuals are admitted to the United States then they would be sort of funneled into the...U.S Refugee Admissions Program," she said. "Catholic Community Services has a contract through the State Department basically that we are able to provide case management services to arriving refugees.”


Zeller-Powell said Afghan SIV holders need to have ties to communities they plan to settle in. That can include family members or friends.


“It is also possible that members or veterans of the armed forces or contractors who worked with US forces in Afghanistan could be these U.S. ties,” she said.


Catholic Community Services, CSS, has helped about 40 other individuals from other countries over the past year settle in Lane County.


Copyright 2021 KLCC

Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.