Governor Wolf prepares for Pa. to welcome Afghan and Haitian refugees

Pennsylvania
Governor Tom Wolf

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf reminded Pennsylvanians Friday the state will begin welcoming refugees from Afghanistan and Haiti and plan to offer support and assist with resettlement.

The Wolf administration reached out to the federal government and refugee resettlement organizations to help Afghans fleeing the country as the Taliban continues to rule after taking it over earlier in August.

Wolf also mentions the intention to also help Haitians fleeing catastrophe after a devastating earthquake on August 14.

“Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of peace, tolerance, and safety for all people. It is incumbent on us to model the ideals on which Pennsylvania was founded and be a welcoming home for any who seek safe refuge in the United States. Therefore, Pennsylvania stands ready to continue serving as a resource and a safe, welcoming home for those who seek refuge in the United States,” Gov. Wolf said. “We are pleased to join in the Biden Administration’s efforts to safely relocate and resettle individuals and families fleeing humanitarian crises.”

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Pa.’s Department of Human Services is teaming up with the federal government and local refugee resettlement agencies to connect refugees with benefit programs and support services in the Commonwealth.

DHS will work with refugees to provide stability and access to employment, medical and mental health services, support and case management as they acclimate for up to five years after arrival.

“I am incredibly grateful to our refugee resettlement organizations whose ongoing vital work ensure that individuals and families are not only welcome but have access to important resources to help them thrive,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we continue to collaborate with the federal government, my administration offers support to organizations and communities, and asks community leaders for flexibility and understanding.”

Wolf said the refugees will be coming to Philadelphia Airport soon.

Senator Bob Casey (D – Pa.) also made a statement reacting to the arrival of refugees.

“Many Afghans have spent years aiding U.S. forces and promoting democracy and equality.  They have risked their lives to do so and, over the past few weeks, some have been forced to leave their homes, uproot their lives and flee for their safety. We owe these Afghans gratitude and the opportunity to start a new life in the United States. Philadelphia now plays a crucial part in welcoming these Afghans to the United States and I have no doubt Pennsylvanians will welcome these brave families as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods,” Sen. Casey said.

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