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Posted on: February 23, 2022

Loudoun County to Host Community Meeting Feb. 24 on “Safe Haven” Site in Loudoun

Link to information about a proposed safe haven facility in Loudoun

Loudoun County will host an in-person public information meeting Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 7:30 p.m. at The National Conference Center (NCC) in Lansdowne (18665 NCC Ring Drive, Leesburg). The meeting will take place in the ballroom, which is located in the West Building, directly across from the parking structure.

“Ahead of the federal government potentially selecting Loudoun for this important operation and as promised, I want to share what this means for the residents of this neighborhood, which is also my neighborhood and that of my colleague, Ashburn District Supervisor Mike Turner,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall. “The county will continue to be transparent regarding the facts of the federal government’s plans to assist our Afghan allies in finding new homes throughout the United States; this community meeting will include all stakeholders involved to ensure all questions are answered publicly.”

The purpose of the meeting is to provide Lansdowne residents with an overview of how the federal government would manage a temporary “safe haven” facility for Afghan evacuees for the second phase of Operation Allies Welcome. Representatives of the Loudoun County government, including Board of Supervisors Chair Randall and Ashburn District Supervisor Turner, will be joined at the meeting by federal government representatives. In addition, local county government partners, including representatives from the Sheriff’s Office, NCC and others will be on hand to answer questions. The county plans to host additional in-person and online meetings with residents as needed throughout the duration of the operation.

The evacuees would be temporarily housed at the temporary “safe haven” while their new, permanent homes are identified throughout the United States. Approximately 1,000 evacuees per month could be temporarily housed in the facility for approximately two to four weeks after arriving at the NCC. The operation in Loudoun County is expected to begin in March 2022 and end no later than September 2022.

Visit loudoun.gov/safehaven for more information and to: 

  • Submit an online form with questions and comments.
  • Review details about how the temporary facility will be used.
  • Read more information about the screening of evacuees before arriving in the U.S.
  • See anticipated impacts of the operation in Loudoun County.
  • Learn more about how you can help.

More About Operation Allies Welcome

If the potential agreement between the federal government and the NCC is signed, the center will be operated by the federal government. The majority of Afghan evacuees who arrived as part of Operation Allies Welcome are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas because they took significant risks to support U.S. military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan, worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan or coalition forces, or are a family member of someone who did. Other allies are female teachers, judges, prosecutors, embassy personnel, women’s rights activists, journalists and family members of American citizens, and lawful permanent residents—all of whom would have remained in danger if they stayed in Afghanistan. 

Prior to arriving in the United States, all Afghan evacuees were vetted through a multi-layered, rigorous screening and vetting process that is conducted by intelligence, law enforcement and counterterrorism professionals from the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Defense (DOD) and State; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); National Counterterrorism Center; and additional intelligence community partners. The U.S. government collects and reviews biometric and biographic information, which is compared against DHS, DOD and FBI repositories. Only those evacuees who clear these comprehensive checks by counterterrorism, intelligence and law enforcement professionals are approved for onward travel to the United States.

Review comprehensive information about the operation at loudoun.gov/safehaven

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