First Afghan Refugees Resettled in ‘Top Destination’ Phoenix


The first of hundreds of Afghan refugees have been settled in the Phoenix area, which is being described as a “top destination” for those displaced after the U.S. withdrawal and Taliban takeover of the country.

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey thanked the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), along with Cindy McCain, the widow of former Arizona Senator John McCain, for assisting in the refugee resettlement process.

“It’s critical that we keep our promises to the brave Afghan people who fought alongside us for their freedom and rights,” he then said. “They were instrumental in our operations in Afghanistan — they helped us take down terrorists and make the world a safer place.”

After calling the United States a “City on a Hill” and a “global leader,” Ducey announced that the state had “just received our first group of vetted refugees on Sunday night, and we know there are more on their way.”

“These individuals have all been fully vetted through intensive background checks by national security agencies,” he noted.

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest is handling the resettlement of the refugees. They are allowed to resettle 600 people this year via the Refugee Resettlement Program, and because of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, they are allowed to resettle an extra 200 refugees, provided that those refugees are from Afghanistan.

The exact number of Afghan refugees that have, or will be resettled in the Grand Canyon state remains unknown.

When refugees make their way to the Grand Canyon state, groups will meet them at airports and partner them with a co-sponsor or ‘first friends,'” 12News reported, citing Connie Phillips, the president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest. “They are then taken to a furnished apartment that’s been paid for.”

“The following day, case managers work with refugees and assist them with English language programs, cultural orientation, transportation training, help them set up medical care, get their children enrolled in school, help them find employment and guide them in how to become part of the community.”

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].


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