NY should be a leader in resettlement of refugees: Afghan NYers, elected officials

New York, NY:Tthe New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), the Buffalo Afghan Community, Journey’s End, World Relief, and Assemblywoman Pat Fahy demanded that New York immediately take a leadership role in the Afghan refugee crisis. Joining the advocates and the Assemblywoman were two Afghan translators who shared powerful testimonies about their experiences and the plight of their family and friends still in Afghanistan. Following Thursday’s horrific attacks in Kabul, advocates doubled down on their demand that the US government address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

“The monstrous acts of terroristic violence in Kabul underscore the massive gap between President Biden’s commitment to the Afghan people and the reality inside Afghanistan” said Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition. “The only answer to this growing humanitarian disaster is a massive expansion of America’s refugee program. Here in New York, the New York Immigration Coalition stands ready to help our state become a leader in the resettlement of Afghan families. We have a chance to show the world America can truly live up to our rhetoric and take responsibility for our outsized impact on the world. It’s time for each of our elected leaders, from Governor Kathy Hochul to President Biden, to seize this opportunity.”  

“It is estimated that up to 80% of the arriving Afghani evacuees are being admitted as Humanitarian Parolees, not as refugees,” said Karen M. Andolina Scott, Executive Director, Journey’s End Refugee Services. “Unlike refugees, asylees, and special immigrant visa holders, these parolees will not have long-term access to public benefits, access to ORR funded services through the resettlement agencies like Journey’s End Refugee Services, nor a clear path to permanent residency and then citizenship. Our newest Afghan neighbors will be forced to rely on charity, left on their own to navigate complex American systems, while being denied an opportunity to fully integrate as permanent residents. While we, as service providers are called to help with this humanitarian crisis, and communities ready themselves to welcome, we must ensure that service provision is sustainable and can meet the real needs of the incoming Afghani population.” 
“Today’s crisis in Afghanistan is a moral flashpoint for our state and nation,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “New York has long been a beacon for refugees across the world, and we must commit to furthering that legacy by taking steps to prevent continued humanitarian catastrophe. We urge the Biden administration to continue to identify pathways for evacuation for our vulnerable allies in Afghanistan and to free up resources for states to resettle these individuals. New Yorkers stand ready to welcome Afghan refugees with open arms and to support them as they have supported us in our mission over the past 20 years.”

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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