WGXC-90.7 FM

NYS immigration coalition urging U.S. to accept more Afghan refugees

Aug 30, 2021 6:00 am

Tiffany Cusaac-Smith is reporting for the USA Today Network the New York Immigration Coalition is pushing the American government and the state of New York to accept more Afghanistan refugees following a deadly attack at the Kabul airport and the looming deadline to end evacuations. Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the coalition, said the Biden administration has a “profound moral obligation” to assist with the resettlement of Afghans seeking refuge in the states. “We must do everything in our power to protect the Afghan community in danger at this current moment,” he said. Beginning in October 2020 and continuing through July, approximately 460 refugees settled in New York, according to Governor Kathy Hochul's office. That number includes 140 people from Afghanistan and 83 individuals on a special immigrant visa. New York has vowed to resettle around 1,300 refugees and special immigrant visa holders during the federal fiscal year 2021, according to Hochul's office. Hochul said last week that she wanted the refugees to come to New York, pointing to the diversity and population that refugees have brought to cities such as her native Buffalo. Legislation is now pending in Albany that would provide an additional $50 million toward resettling Afghan refugees. Ahmad Wali, a board member of the Buffalo Afghan Community and a former interpreter, said help with resettlement is needed now. “We need a hand to pick up our community from the ground,” he said, adding: “We have fallen down, and we really need help.” Read more in the Poughkeepsie Journal.