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Afghan refugees could arrive in Utah in a few weeks

Posted at 3:12 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 18:23:01-04

LOGAN, Utah — Refugees fleeing the situation in Afghanistan could arrive in Utah within the next few weeks, Governor Spencer Cox said.

The governor, who was in Logan touring the Cache Valley Refugee and Immigration Center, said the state is ready to help resettle families. The state has been in coordination with refugee resettlement agencies and the White House about when to expect them and how many.

"We’ll probably get just a few families first because that vetting process will take a period of time but they know we’re willing and able when they’re available," he told FOX 13.

The governor was in Cache County because it is an area where refugees have settled because of the ability to get employment. Utah has historically been a welcoming place for refugees, largely a result of the state's own history. Mormon pioneers settled here after they had been driven out of their homes in the Midwest. Gov. Cox personally wrote a letter to President Biden asking to have Afghan refugees settled in the state.

After visiting with people at CRIC in Logan, the governor urged Utahns to donate to refugee service agencies. Casey Cameron, the executive director of Utah's Department of Workforce Services, said Utahns have been stepping up. The agency is responsible for a lot of refugee services the state provides.

"We’ve had a lot of people reach out wanting to donate condos, wanting to donate money, beds whatever support they can," she said.