After the United States withdrew its soldiers from Afghanistan, the Biden Administration received a considerable amount of criticism regarding the strategy used. Subsequently, various stories made headlines regarding people that were not evacuated in time. In the latest development, 220 Afghan nationals have been rescued and granted asylum in Portugal, thanks to Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
The Refugee Service Portugal and the Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation thanked Senator Marco Rubio (R) and his staff in their efforts and in his “office’s considerable ongoing constituency services.”
The 220 Afghan nationals that were rescued and granted asylum “includes the remaining 115 players and family members of the Afghanistan National Youth Women’s Soccer Team, and individuals who aided Portugal, Germany, and Estonia referred by JRS Portugal.”
The soccer players’ rescue dates back to August, and the operation was led by the Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation. In turn, “the families were brought to safe houses in Afghanistan and flown to Lisbon.”
In responding to the praise directed from the organizations, the Florida Republican mentioned that “it has been incredible to see private organizations step up to help those left behind in Afghanistan,” adding that “all of these cases are different and none of them are easy.”
“Our constituent services team handles hundreds of cases each week on issues from Social Security and passports to veterans benefits and housing,” he commented, highlighting that his “work with the Jesuit Refugee Service Portugal and The Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation is yet another example of going the extra mile to do what is right,” said Sen. Rubio in a statement to The Floridian.
In 2019, Senator Rubio was awarded the Democracy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Constituent Service.