Afghan refugees arrive, temporarily, in northern Virginia
ANNANDALE, Va. (AP) — Hundreds of Afghan refugees are staying at a northern Virginia campus as they await relocation to a more permanent destination.
A college spokesperson said the refugees will stay at the campus anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Many refugees are destined for Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Lee in Virginia.
The Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management set up more than 500 cots in ballrooms and community rooms. As word of the refugees’ arrival spread, volunteers from the region’s Afghan community brought food, clothes, toiletries and other supplies and offered service as interpreters.
Some refugees described how they had to leave other family members behind. A man who fled with his 18-month-old son had to leave his wife and daughter behind because they lacked the proper paperwork.
Many who spoke to reporters declined to give their names for fear that their family members in Afghanistan would face retaliation.