SALT LAKE CITY — In an update Wednesday, Governor Spencer Cox announced that the state of Utah has been approved to receive 765 Afghan refugees over the coming months.
“We’re working closely with Utah’s Refugee Services Office, resettlement agencies, humanitarian groups, private sector leaders, Afghans in Utah and engaged citizens to put processes in place to support new arrivals," Cox said in a statement.
The group of refugees will include a "large number of humanitarian parolees who were evacuated because of their vulnerabilities but who have not yet received refugee or asylee status," according to a press release from the Governor's office.
Although a specific timeline for the arrival of the refugees is still being planned, state leaders expect the first group to arrive sometime in October. Officials will receive one week's notice before the refugees arrive.
Most of the refugees are at military bases within the United States and have received security screenings, medical evaluations and vaccinations, according to state leaders. Groups will begin to travel to individual states beginning on October 1 but arrivals are expected to be spread out over several months.
The Internal Rescue Committee (IRC) and Catholic Community Services (CCS) are Utah's two resettlement agencies and will manage housing and other resources for all the Afghan refugees in Utah.
In addition to the IRC and CCS, the governor's Refugee Advisory Board has put together three task groups to help. One will assist with housing, one with basic needs and another with community.
Businesses, landlords, government agencies, advocacy groups, service providers and Utah residents will be coordinated through the task groups to provide for the refugees.
Governor Cox further expressed his support in the refugees coming to Utah by saying in a press release, "We are grateful to offer a safe landing place to 765 Afghans and recognize the new perspectives and compassion they will bring to our state."