Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Signals He Will Accept Afghan Refugees

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signalled Tuesday that the Peach State would accept Afghan refugees in the wake of the Taliban seizing power of the Middle Eastern country following the Biden administration’s withdrawal of U.S. forces.

“Joe Biden’s failure to protect American citizens and our allies in Afghanistan is a stain on our nation. His administration’s lack of preparation and disastrous evacuation is now putting countless lives in serious danger from the Taliban,” Kemp said in a statement obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“It is vitally important to keep those who partnered with American armed forces over the last 20 years safe from harm. Joe Biden has broken his word to the nation, the Afghans, and the world, but we as Americans cannot break our word to those who lent aid to us in our mission to defend freedom and bring justice to those who attacked our country on September 11.”

Speaking to AJC, members of Kemp’s office said the state will push strongly for thorough vetting, which is mandated under federal law.

Some refugee resettlement groups have already reacted positively to Kemp’s statement.

“It’s welcome news. It’s always better to work in partnership and collaboration with the state government, and we’re thrilled that Governor Kemp is supportive of welcoming Afghan refugees,” said Paedia Mixon, who serves as New American Pathways’ chief executive.

“We’ve already seen an outpouring of support from the community, and these are folks who have worked with the American government and bring incredible skills with them.”

In addition to Georgia, Republican governors in Maryland and Massachusetts have suggested that they are open to welcoming refugees.

On Tuesday, Pentagon officials said that possibly thousands of Afghan refugees may be sent to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, for processing, reports the Associated Press

Garry Reid, director of the Department of Defense’s Afghanistan Crisis Action Group, told reporters Monday that the U.S. Army is working to set up reception centers for Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy and Fort Bliss in Texas. He said the Army is preparing to receive as many as 22,000 refugees at the two bases as well as at Fort Lee in Virginia.

Fort McCoy spokeswoman Tonya Townsell told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday that the base, located between Tomah and Sparta, has been notified it will receive refugees and is prepared to house them in soldiers’ barracks as well as provide them with food and medical care.

The Associated Press contributed tot his report. 

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