New York Daily News
Gov opens arms for fleeing Afghans
Gov. Hochul on Thursday promised a warm welcome to roughly 1,000 Afghan evacuees who are expected to settle in New York over the next six months.
“The heart-wrenching images and stories of people fleeing their homeland was a call to action that New York state is more than willing to answer,” Hochul said in a statement. “We welcome our new Afghan friends with open arms and pledge to provide them the assistance they can rely on to rebuild anew.”
Up to 240 evacuees are expected to land in the New York City area by the end of March, according to the governor’s office, with up to 100 headed to Albany, 335 to Buffalo, 200 to Rochester, 248 to Syracuse and 20 to Utica. Some have already arrived.
The U.S. wrapped up its gut-churning exit from Afghanistan at the end of August, after spending two weeks frantically airlifting Americans and Afghans from Kabul, the capital.
The Taliban, who terrorized women during a ruthless rule in the late 1990s, took back control of Afghanistan as the
U.S. wound down its two-decade military campaign in the country.
Many Afghans desperately tried to escape, and tens of thousands who made it to America are now waiting to be resettled.
The Biden administration had started to give leaders around the country figures of how many evacuees are expected in their respective states — with California projected to take in a nation-topping tally of more than 5,000 — according to The Associated Press.
New York State could resettle 1,143 Afghans in the next six months, Hochul’s office said. About 7,500 Afghans currently live in the state.
Hochul issued a proclamation declaring the period between Sept. 10 and Sept. 19 to be “Welcoming Week” in New York.
“New York has a storied history of welcoming those seeking a safe haven from violence and persecution — a proud tradition our state continues today,” Hochul said in her statement.
It wasn’t clear if Congress will label Afghan arrivals as refugees. The White House has called on lawmakers to ensure that the arrivals receive the same benefits as refugees.
Evacuees in New York are set to be aided by agencies operating under the umbrella of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, according to Hochul’s office. That office handles refugees in the state.
“Many of us cannot fathom the fear and hardships endured by the Afghans now arriving in our state,” Mike Hein, the commissioner of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, said in a statement.
“Our role now is to welcome them into our communities, help them to rebuild their lives, and to embrace them as our neighbors,” Hein added in the statement. “We look forward to them becoming part of the rich cultural tapestry that is New York State.”