The crisis in Afghanistan and the decision to admit tens of thousands of that country’s citizens, with plans to admit more, has raised interest in how the huge influx of immigrants will adapt to life in the United States. Unfortunately, we do not have an entirely clear picture of the Afghans evacuated in recent weeks. Some have worked for the U.S. government, others have a more tenuous connection, while still others seem to have simply pushed their way to the front of the line at the Kabul airport.
By contrast, Census Bureau data does provide a clear picture of Afghans already in the United States. It shows that many people struggle with low incomes and high rates of welfare use. Moving forward, policymakers have to think about how they might better help future Afghan immigrants adapt to life in the United States or, alternatively, help those who want out of Afghanistan to resettle in neighboring countries.
[Read the rest in The National Interest.]