In Brief

Murphy says New Jersey will welcome Afghan refugees

By: - August 23, 2021 7:01 am

“When we work together as regional partners to enact regional solutions, we’re far better off than when we go off on our own,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Thursday. (Photo by Danielle Richards for New Jersey Monitor)

New Jersey will welcome refugees from Afghanistan who have fled or are attempting to flee the country to escape Taliban rule, Gov. Phil Murphy said in a letter to President Biden Sunday.

The people of Afghanistan, who have watched as their country has plunged into chaos in the leadup to the withdrawal of American troops, “must not be left behind,” Murphy wrote.

“Many have already shared the view that providing safe-harbor and support is an expression of our values,” Murphy’s letter reads. “I would add that accepting these refugee honors the sacrifice made by veterans in the war in Afghanistan — too many of whom died working towards the same goal sought by these refugees: stability and peace.”

A CBS/YouGov poll released Sunday finds an overwhelming majority of Americans, 81%, support efforts to help Afghans who worked for the United States and may now face punishment from the Taliban find a home here.

Nearly 2,000 Afghan interpreters and other refugees arrived in Virginia last week, the first wave in what is expected to be flood of migrants headed to the United States from Afghanistan. The International Refugee Assistance Project said last week it believes 100,000 refugees will relocate here.

Murphy in his letter urged Biden to speed and expand a special immigrant visa program that will help Afghans settle in the United States.

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Terrence T. McDonald
Terrence T. McDonald

Editor Terrence T. McDonald is a native New Jerseyan who has worked for newspapers in the Garden State for more than 15 years. He has covered everything from Trenton politics to the smallest of municipal squabbles, exposing public corruption and general malfeasance at every level of government. Terrence won 23 New Jersey Press Association awards and two Tim O’Brien Awards for Investigative Journalism using the Open Public Records Act from the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. One politician forced to resign in disgrace because of Terrence’s reporting called him a "political poison pen journalist.”