SUBJECT:       Designation of the Department of Homeland Security as Lead Federal Department for Facilitating the Entry of Vulnerable Afghans into the United States

Pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5 (Management of Domestic Incidents), and as further complemented by other Presidential policy directives, the President has directed the Secretary of Homeland Security (the Secretary) to lead the coordination of ongoing efforts across the Federal Government to resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States.  This process includes but is not limited to initial immigration processing, COVID-19 testing, separation of COVID-positive individuals for anticipated quarantine, and resettlement support for evacuees who are neither American citizens nor lawful permanent residents and who will be temporarily accommodated at select U.S. military bases before relocating to communities across the country.

The President has further directed the Secretary to establish a Unified Coordination Group.  The Secretary will identify a Senior Response Official, subject to the oversight, direction, and guidance of the Secretary, who shall lead and coordinate the Unified Coordination Group.  The Senior Response Official will employ the National Response Framework to enhance unity of effort; develop strategic objectives and priorities; coordinate with senior Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial officials, as well as representatives of private sector and nongovernmental entities; elevate and resolve national-level resource and policy issues through the National Security Memorandum-2 process; and lead communication efforts with affected parties and the public.

All relevant Federal departments and agencies are directed to provide their full and prompt cooperation, resources, and support, consistent with their own responsibilities for addressing the situation, and shall cooperate with the Secretary and the Senior Response Official to ensure a unified Federal response.  The President’s expectation is clear:  the Department of Homeland Security shall serve as the lead Federal agency, coordinating the effort with other Federal agencies with the full support of the entire Cabinet.

Nothing in this memorandum abrogates, alters, or impedes the ability of Federal departments and agencies or Federal officials to perform their responsibilities under law.


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