Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Obamas, Bushes and Clintons teaming up in effort to aid Afghan refugees
spotlight AP

Obamas, Bushes and Clintons teaming up in effort to aid Afghan refugees

  • Updated
  • 0
{{featured_button_text}}
Obamas, Bushes and Clintons teaming up in effort to aid Afghan refugees

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are teaming up to support Afghan refugees.

The Presidents' club is teaming up to aid in a massive, bipartisan effort to welcome and support Afghan refugees that is being launched Tuesday.

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama -- along with former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama -- are serving as honorary co-chairs for the group Welcome.US.

Welcome.US, the group said in a news release, is aimed at engaging "all Americans to welcome and support refugees, beginning with the individuals and families who fled Afghanistan" following the American withdrawal from the nation in recent weeks. After the biggest military evacuation in history, the Biden administration is now tasked with resettling more than 60,000 Afghan refugees in the US over the next several weeks.

About 17% of those who have already arrived are US citizens and lawful permanent residents and can head to their destinations without first passing through military bases. The rest, however, will go to bases to receive medical screening -- including Covid-19 vaccinations -- before they're relocated to communities around the country.

Welcome.US has gathered the former presidents -- as well as a bipartisan group of governors, including Maryland Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, and other leaders -- to serve as a central point of contact for public and private efforts to help in the massive effort to help Afghan refugees as they establish lives in the US. It will connect and coordinate efforts among state and local governments, as well as non-profit organizations, corporations, universities and others, according to the group.

CNN's Atika Shubert gets a tour around Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the temporary home for more than 20,000 Afghan refugees on their way to permanent locations.

It will provide grants to non-profit organizations and will launch a six-figure advertising campaign "to highlight the need for all Americans to join the thousands of people who've already stepped up to welcome our new Afghan neighbors as they get settled and build their new lives." Also among those efforts, the group said in the news release, are support for housing via Airbnb; meals via Instacart; grants from Walmart, Starbucks and Microsoft; and ad credits from Facebook to promote the organization.

"Thousands of Afghans stood with us on the front lines to push for a safer world, and now they need our help," the Bushes said in a statement on the organization. "We are proud to support Welcome.US and the work to help Afghan families get settled and build new lives. We stand ready to show our new Afghan neighbors and the rest of the world how a welcoming and generous spirit forms the backbone of what makes our country so great."

It was not immediately clear whether former Presidents Donald Trump or Jimmy Carter had been invited to participate in the effort, and a spokesperson for the group did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

Clinton and Obama joined President Joe Biden on Saturday for an observance of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. Bush spoke at another 9/11 observance event in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, alongside Vice President Kamala Harris.

Trump, however, commemorated the 20th anniversary in a short video in which he praised first responders and lambasted Biden for the handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, before providing commentary on a boxing match.

Bush, meanwhile, used his remarks in Pennsylvania to criticize Trump without directly naming him.

"There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home," Bush said Saturday. "But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit," a seeming reference to the violent insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6.

It's not the first crisis effort where former presidents have joined together for a common cause.

Bush and Clinton came together in 2005 to raise funds for those impacted by the tsunami in Indonesia and again in 2010 to establish the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund to aid with long-term recovery following a catastrophic earthquake in that nation.

PHOTO ARCHIVE

The-CNN-Wire

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

The best local coverage, unlimited

Sign up for a digital subscription to The Press of Atlantic City now and take advantage of a great offer.

LEARN MORE

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News