The Department of Defense could be housing 30,000 Afghan refugees in locations like Fort McCoy in Wisconsin and Fort Bliss in Texas: report

Afghan Afghanistan Refugees
An internally displaced Afghan girl sits inside a box as she waits for the distribution of winter assistance in Kabul December 23, 2012. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began a winter assistance programme for returnees from Pakistan and Iran, internally displaced persons and others who are at risk in the cold weather. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
  • The Department of Defense could be planning to house Afghan refugees in Texas and Wisconsin.
  • A Fox News correspondent cited an unnamed source saying 30,000 Afghans could be relocated to the US soon.
  • These Afghans are under Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) given to those who worked for the US.
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The US Department of Defense could be planning to make room for some 30,000 Afghan refugees at US Army garrisons like Fort Bliss in Texas, and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

This is according to a report from Jacqui Heinrich, a Fox News White House Correspondent. Heinrich cited documents obtained from an unnamed source at the Department of Defense, which she says shows the US plans to bring up to 30,000 Afghans into the US “in the immediate future.”

The incoming Afghans will be those who applied for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). These visas are given to those employed by, or on behalf of, the US government. This includes individuals who were interpreters or translators for the US military, many of whom could be in immediate danger following the Taliban’s impending takeover of the country.

“We want to have the capacity to get up to several thousand (Afghans) immediately, and want to be prepared for the potential of tens of thousands,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby to Heinrich. “(Forts) Bliss & McCoy have the capability right now – what’s advantageous is with a bit of work, (this) could increase in short order.”

A 'Fort Bliss' sign planted along the left side of a road in Texas.
Fort Bliss, Texas. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Kirby told Heinrich SIV applicants will be evacuated along with US citizens.”Once we get more airlift out of Kabul, we’re going to put as many people on those planes as we can. There will be a mix, not just American citizens, but perhaps some Afghan SIV applicants as well,” Kirby told Heinrich. “We’re going to focus on getting people out of the country, then sorting it out at the next stop. It’s not going to be just Americans first, then SIV applicants.”

CNN reported earlier on August 15, however, that the US is curtailing evacuation flights to America to prioritize the evacuation of American citizens. In its report, CNN said that the last flight currently planned for SIV applicants and their families had already left Afghanistan to transport refugees to Fort Lee in Virginia.

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

In the meantime, the Taliban is slated to take hold of power in the country once again and declare it the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The last time the Taliban was in control was between 1996 and 2001. While a withdrawal of American troops and the evacuation of US diplomats proceeded on August 15, people were seen swarming the streets and airport tarmac in Kabul in a desperate attempt to flee the country.