PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the military operation from Kabul, Afghanistan, continues, Eyewitness News is tracking down the details of refugee flights arriving in the Philadelphia area. Multiple sources tell CBS3 that refugees will arrive in Philadelphia in commercial, not military aircraft.
Multiple sources say the refugees will likely arrive in the city some time overnight Friday into Saturday. Members of the Air Force unloaded a truck with supplies from the Red Cross to an area prepped for processing at Philadelphia International Airport.READ MORE: Eagles Sign DE Josh Sweat To 3 Year Contract Extension
Members from the Air Force unloading water, snacks, diapers etc from a Red Cross truck and into the processing area where Afghan refugees will arrive later tonight @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/FEgfJ1B4FH
— Alecia Reid (@alecia__reid) August 27, 2021
In a statement Friday afternoon, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Philadelphia International Airport is expected to receive Afghan refugees imminently.
On Thursday night, Mayor Jim Kenney confirmed that Philadelphia International Airport will be the second passenger airport in the nation to welcome refugee arrivals, as a part of the rescue operation. The exact details on when flights and refugees can be expected through the airport are unclear due to federal officials coordinating the operation, and security and privacy concerns related to the Afghan evacuees.
However, preparations are underway in anticipation of their arrival. The baggage claim area at Terminal A East and the International Arrivals Area at the airport is closed until further notice. It’s closed because it’ll potentially be used as a security screening area for Afghan refugees when they arrive, officials say.
Some, not all refugees, will also undergo additional screening at an undisclosed location in Camden, New Jersey, according to sources.
Only ticketed passengers are allowed in Terminal A East, even for pickups.READ MORE: Man Shot At Least 8 Times In Strawberry Mansion Left In Critical Condition, Police Say
A city official also confirmed that the city is now recruiting volunteers to help translate for refugee arrivals. They’re specifically are seeking anyone who speaks either Dari or Pashto to help Afghan arrivals.
“This is a volunteer opportunity and is a real way to help folks coming over from Afghanistan feel more at home, feel more confident in what it is that they’re going through,” Jim Garrow, a spokesperson with the Philadelphia Department of Health, said.
According to HIAS, a local resettlement organization, more than two dozen refugees have been resettled in Philadelphia in the past two weeks. Volunteers are also needed there.
“This is another way for folks who may not have specialized skills that the city is looking for to be able to help volunteer and make folks feel a little bit more at home,” Garrow said.
Federal, state and city agencies are taking part in the effort.
Doctors from Jefferson and Temple University are preparing to conduct onsite triage work for arriving refugees at the airport.
Arrivals also continue at Joint Base McGuire in Burlington County, New Jersey.
To sign up as a translator for Afghan refugees, click here and select “Philadelphia MRC” during the process.MORE NEWS: Delaware Gov. John Carney Requests Disaster Declaration From President Joe Biden Due Damaged Caused By Ida
If you’re interested in donating to the crisis in Afghanistan, click here.