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Region ready to accept Afghan refugees

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont is in the process of accepting refugees from Afghanistan who are beginning to arrive in the United States. Details are still being finalized but we are learning more about how many people the state is prepared to take in. According to state officials, Vermont is willing to accept more than 300 Afghan refugees by the end of this year.

In the short term, Vermont’s resettlement agency, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, is requesting 100 Afghan refugees. That request still needs to be approved by the State Department. If that happens, they could begin arriving in the Green Mountain State over the next couple of weeks.

State leaders say it’s the moral thing to do.

“We want to do the right thing. We know that Afghans have helped our troops and our people over there in Afghanistan for many years. We want to ensure that they have a safe place to land,” said Tracy Dolan, the director of Vermont’s refugee office.

But Dolan also says it’s not just about helping the Afghans. She says it is also about what the refugees can bring to communities across the region.

“We need to build the workforce and we look forward to receiving the skills and talent of refugees who come live here to enrich our communities,” Dolan said.

New Hampshire is also in the process of accepting refugees. Gov. Chris Sununu released a statement which included, “As we have done for many years, the state has communicated with our resettlement agencies that we stand ready to support their efforts, now, more than ever, in helping Afghan refugees who sacrificed their lives to help the united states military in Afghanistan.”

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