The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is now the only airport in the country welcoming Afghan evacuees into the United States as part of the federally-led operation “Allies Welcome.”
According to its official website, the City of Philadelphia, along with its partner organizations, is set to provide medical assistance, housing, and connection to the diverse community of immigrant service providers who can assist with an array of social services.
The City cannot confirm information on how many people are expected and when they are arriving.
Flights to Philadelphia are expected to resume Tuesday, October 5 after a three-week delay to allow time for public health precautions.
“We’re proud that the City and so many partners in this effort have banded together to welcome more than 11,000 evacuees through PHL. As a point-of-entry location, we provided support and services after evacuees were cleared by customs,” said Mayor Jim Kenney.
“Now that we are the only airport in the United States welcoming evacuees, our commitment remains stronger than ever. We will protect the rights and dignity of the Afghan individuals and families arriving in our country,” added Kenney.
From August 28 to September 10, the City reports that 11,869 evacuees came through PHL via 49 aircraft. On Wednesday, October 6, the City will resume posting daily evacuee arrival totals via Twitter. Members of the public will be able to follow important updates using #OperationAlliesWelcomePHL.
“Evacuees” instead of “refugees”
Operation Allies Welcome had been previously known as Operation Allies Refuge PHL during the earlier phase of this federal program.
However, passengers on arriving flights may include U.S. citizens, U.S. military personnel, visa holders and applicants, lawful permanent residents, and people seeking asylum, the federal government advises using “evacuees” instead of “refugees” to describe arriving passengers.