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Taliban Make Millions From Passports Issued to Fleeing Afghans

FILE - People queue to enter the passport office at a checkpoint in Kabul on Dec. 19, 2021, after Afghanistan's Taliban authorities said they would resume issuing passports.
FILE – People queue to enter the passport office at a checkpoint in Kabul on Dec. 19, 2021, after Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities said they would resume issuing passports.

Since taking power last year, the Taliban have issued more than 700,000 passports to Afghan nationals inside the country, earning about $50 million in revenue, according to officials.

“We are issuing up to 4,000 passports daily and we aim to increase the number to 10,000,” Shirshah Quraishi, deputy director of Afghanistan’s passport department, told reporters Tuesday in Kabul.

Fearing the Taliban’s repressive rule, with many enduring hunger and poverty since their return to power, hundreds of thousands of Afghans have fled the country over the past year.

The U.S. government, which evacuated more than 120,000 Afghans last year, plans to resettle thousands of additional Afghans to the U.S. through the Special Immigration Visa and Priority-2 programs.

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