Here Are The States Offering To Resettle Afghan Refugees

As the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan follows President Joe Biden’s determination to lastly withdraw the United States from the warfare, politicians, human rights advocates and refugee teams have spoken out about the necessity to evacuate not simply Americans but additionally Afghans ― notably ones who’ve helped the U.S. army and people who belong to weak populations.

Since Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of about 48,000 folks from Afghanistan, the White House stated Monday night. That quantity continues to extend as Biden expands the perimeter round Kabul’s airport, which is serving as a maintain for evacuating folks.

As the evacuations proceed to extend and fleeing Afghans start to arrive within the U.S., a rising variety of states, led by Democrats and Republicans alike, have introduced their intent to do their half by taking in as many refugees as attainable. Here is an ongoing listing of these states: 

  • Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey and House Speaker Rusty Bowers, each Republicans, stated in an announcement that the state “wholeheartedly welcomes our fair share of the refugees.”

  • Arkansas: Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson introduced his help for taking in refugees who’ve supported the U.S. army in Afghanistan, tweeting that his state has a “responsibility to these heroes & their families.”

  • California: At a marketing campaign occasion in San Jose, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) stated that Afghan refugees are “welcome and celebrated” within the state, including that he’s working with nonprofits to resettle a few of the Afghans presently fleeing to the U.S. The Democrat stated he’s “proud of the fact that California has taken in more refugees than any other state,” noting that the state already has a “disproportionate” variety of Afghan refugees.

  • Colorado: Democratic Gov. Jared Polis despatched a letter to Biden asking how Colorado can help within the resettlement course of, including that his state “stands ready to provide safety and opportunity to Afghan refugees.”

  • Guam: Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero instructed MSNBC that the island territory will “certainly play a very significant role” in resettling Afghans however that the Democrat is ready on the White House for orders. The U.S. used Guam to assist course of refugees through the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

  • Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker stated that if “there are refugees that come to the United States as a result of our ability to get them out [of Afghanistan], I hope Illinois will be one place that they will be able to welcome them to.” The Democrat, including that his family have been refugees, stated the main focus ought to presently be to get Americans and their allies out of Afghanistan.

  • Iowa: Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds hopes to welcome extra refugees than the 94 Iraqis and Afghans whom the state has resettled during the last 4 years, a spokesperson instructed Axios, specifying refugees who supported the U.S. army previous to its withdrawal.

  • Kansas: Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly stated her state would “welcome refugees and families who supported American troops” if Biden asks the state to take action, in keeping with the Kansas City Star.

  • Maryland: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan posted a video on Twitter saying his state has already dedicated to resettling 180 Afghan households, which embrace interpreters for the U.S., and that he’s “ready and willing to do even more,” citing a “moral obligation.”

  • Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, tweeted that his state is “ready to assist Afghan refugees seeking safety and peace in America.”

  • New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and House Speaker Brian Egolf, each Democrats, despatched Biden a letter saying they “await further direction” on how they might help the resettlement effort. The letter talked about the state’s “proud tradition of welcoming refugees from around the world with open arms, and we make no exception for the people of Afghanistan.”

  • New York: Incoming Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, who will succeed Andrew Cuomo beginning Tuesday, tweeted that the state is “committed to doing our part to welcome refugees fleeing Afghanistan” and that “the arms of the Statue of Liberty are open wide to you.”

  • Oklahoma: Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt tweeted that his workplace is exploring “every possible avenue” to verify no U.S. residents or Afghan allies are left behind, stressing that he welcomes “Afghans fleeing the terrorist Taliban regime” to Oklahoma to “live in the freedom we hold so dearly.”

  • Oregon: Democratic Gov. Kate Brown issued an announcement saying the state is able to assist resettle “any and all Afghans who would make our state their home,” including that Oregon has welcomed greater than 75,000 refugees since 1975. Brown stated the White House should additionally expedite the visa approval course of and raise refugee caps.

  • Pennsylvania: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf stated that his state is prepared to “help in any way possible” and has been “in contact with federal and local partners to coordinate resources to resettle Afghan refugees.”

  • South Carolina: Gov. Henry McMaster responded to a reporter’s query about welcoming refugees into the state by saying Afghan allies “helped protect Americans” and “now it is our duty to help them.”

  • Utah: Republican Gov. Spencer Cox introduced that he has despatched a letter to Biden expressing his need to assist resettle Afghans fleeing their nation, citing that the state “was settled by refugees fleeing religious persecution,” understands “the pain caused by forced migration” and appreciates “the contributions of refugees in our communities.”

  • Vermont: Republican Gov. Phil Scott instructed WCAX-TV that he despatched a letter this week to the U.S. State Department reiterating his curiosity in having extra folks relocated by way of the state’s Refugee Resettlement Program, including that “it appears that there may be a need in the very near future.”

  • Wisconsin: Democratic Gov. Tony Evers stated he has been in touch with the federal authorities about utilizing Fort McCoy in Tomah to course of refugees, including that his state “is ready to assist these efforts and help these individuals who served our country and are now seeking refuge.”

Some states have signaled help for bringing Afghan allies to security however haven’t stated outright that they might absorb refugees. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has voiced that it’s “vitally important” to maintain the army’s Afghan allies “safe from harm” however has not but dedicated to welcoming them to his state. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tweeted that he’s “praying for the safe return of our civilians, soldiers, and allies who remain in harm’s way,” however the Republican governor didn’t specify whether or not his would settle for these allies.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) stated that “Americans, our allies, and the Afghan people who helped support our missions” deserve solutions from Biden about “how they will be safely evacuated.” Ricketts didn’t point out whether or not he deliberate to just accept Afghan refugees in his state.

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