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Santa Clara County braces for surge of refugees following U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

Original post made on Sep 16, 2021

The county is expecting an increase in refugees following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, with nonprofits estimating that more than 500 people will need to be resettled over the next 12 months.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 2:48 PM

Comments (13)

Posted by Jennie Savage
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 16, 2021 at 1:26 pm

Jennie Savage is a registered user.

As a big believer in the importance of local journalism, let me start by thanking you and your staff for covering salient issues for our community. That said, as a high school debate coach, I am convinced of the tremendous power of words and terms to shape our thoughts, beliefs and subsequent actions. If you're willing to reconsider the headline you chose "Santa Clara braces for surge of refugees," I'd appreciate it. We "brace" for hurricanes, for floods, for bad news. Perhaps it's more appropriate to say that we are "preparing" or "readying" to welcome new neighbors? Thank you in advance for considering the impact your words have on us and those who are joining our beloved country.


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2021 at 1:46 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

According to what Afghan's refer to as the Afghan brain drain, the people leaving the country are those that the Taliban would prefer to keep due to the fact that they have skills that are necessary for the country to operate. They are teachers, medical professionals, various technical workers, engineers, etc. In other words, these are people who have skills that can be used wherever they end up living. They are most likely to be bilingual and English speaking although to the amount of English would be variable.

I am pleased that there are offers to help them. However, I would imagine that they are going to become very independent fairly quickly. These refugees are not likely to be the perceived needy community that will be dependent on others for very long. They just need a start to find somewhere to live, somewhere to work and help navigating the red tape that enables them to adjust.


Posted by Jean Parker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 16, 2021 at 2:41 pm

Jean Parker is a registered user.

Semantics aside (bracing VS preparing), roughly how many Afghan refugees will be settling in Santa Clara County and in what city (or cities)?

Will their living expenses be subsidized by the county, state, federal governments and for how long?

And will the public schools, CA DMV, CA social services, and CA voter registrar now be required to provide ESL services?

Lastly, will the Afghani refugees be fully vetted by the Department of Homeland Security and FBI along with having been fully vaccinated and/or quarantined for Covid-19 and the Delta variant?

With its high residential costs and limited availabilitues, I imagine few Afghani refugees will be relocating to Palo Alto unless they are inherently wealthy.

Little Kabul in Fremont might be a better destination from the standpoint of shared language and culture/customs.


Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

Anonymous is a registered user.

I hope Santa Clara County will set up a mechanism whereby we can donate (securely) funds for the direct benefit of Afghan arrivals, as I would trust this and donate generously - as well as a way to donate items to a “wish list.”
Really, I would think in this huge, prosperous county there will be many of us willing to assist! It’s not likely they’ll move to Palo Alto owing to being built out and expensive.
I donated to an Afghan resettlement effort recently through UC Berkeley (they went over the amount requested), but I live in THIS county.
I am not of the faith group noted, find little online re: them, and so prefer to donate to something tangible such as: Santa Clara County for afghan relief/resettlement.
- Can they set up a temporary unit for this?
Maybe there should be a central warehouse in downtown San Jose or near County offices? Those who arrive could peruse various areas w categories of resources and donations.
It’s not all that easy to acquire furniture around here, if strict descriptions were given I believe many such items could be received as donations.
- Food, clothing, toys, books, maps, guides to the region!?
(This, in addition to the standard initial government reception of the Afghanis, of course.)
Hope there’s a way we in the general public can help, it’s the least we can do. I am appalled at Biden’s method of withdrawal from Afghanistan. I also hope immunizations are checked and administered as needed.


Posted by Anna Delacroix
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:32 am

Anna Delacroix is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by AY
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 17, 2021 at 9:31 am

AY is a registered user.

We have a tremendous shortage of home health aid in bay area. After they settle down, we should encourage new immigrants to attend the training. It is a new bay area surviving skill and a way to contribute to the communities, too.


Posted by Anna Delacroix
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 17, 2021 at 11:54 am

Anna Delacroix is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2021 at 8:08 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Afghanistan, sad story. Pay attention to what France is doing now. Recalling Ambassador from US and Australia. Foreign Affairs being ignored again. Pay attention. Pay Attention!


Posted by Anna Delacroix
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 18, 2021 at 8:33 am

Anna Delacroix is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Phyllis Leaf
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 20, 2021 at 11:18 am

Phyllis Leaf is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 20, 2021 at 1:51 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

In the global picture for the Afghanasitan country the European countries have a long history of involvement - centuries. Many from the overall region live in GB and France and go to school there but they are dedicated to the Muslim culture. The US has a relativley short time period of involvement in that area. Based on the historical involvement in that region the bulk of the refugees should be going to the European countries where they already have established nighborhoods. Do not assume that the US is suppose to be the destination for refugees from countries in which the European countreis also have had a direct involvement with military and cultural support. The papers do not tell you where they all are going. It only prints a US POV which is relativley limited. We are the late comers in direct involvement in this area - the European countries have to do their part.


Posted by Anna Delacroix
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Sep 20, 2021 at 2:17 pm

Anna Delacroix is a registered user.

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 20, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Pakistan has a large contingent of similiar population. Many centuries of transitioning in that region of tribal travels. That is the logical place for them to settle since they are aleady part of the population for centuries. Quit moving people out of their cultural base. They have family in those other countries, relatives, and go to school there. Their language is not a barrier in those locations. People need to end up where they will be most successful and have a cultural comfort of simiiarity.


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