George and Laura Bush released a statement Monday night urging the U.S. to do more to help the refugees fleeing Afghanistan two decades after the 43rd president invaded the country following September 11 attacks.
On Monday, the U.S. said that 1,600 U.S. personnel, Afghans, and foreign nationals had been evacuated in the previous 48 hours, only a small fraction of the potential total. It is estimated that the number of special immigrant visas (SIV) applicants, along with their families, is close to 80,000. Pentagon officials said Monday that it had prepared to bring 22,000 SIV recipients to the United States, where they will be temporarily housed on military bases. That number could rise.