Governor Polis Offers ‘Safety and Opportunity’ In Colorado For Afghan Refugees
The situation in Afghanistan and the tremendous unrest is at the top of every news outlet and media headline. It's a global concern, and Colorado Governor Jared Polis has extended a hand of safety and opportunity to Afghan refugees. Governor Polis has officially sent a letter to the President offering Colorado as a state of sanctuary.
In the letter, Governor Polis mentioned the letter he sent back in May when news came that U.S. military troops would be pulled in the coming months. Even in May, it was apparent that Afghans would face threats when the troops left.
Governor Polis has made it clear that several Afghans provided assistance to the U.S. military when the troops were stationed there. He's calling the Biden administration to expedite the evacuation process and retrieve eligible Afghans. He reiterated that Afghan refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders are all welcome in the state of Colorado.
Governor Polis also stresses that bureaucratic processes should not come in the way of human rescue. He encourages the Biden administration to act quickly as there are several hundreds of lives at stake, and paperwork should not be the thing to get in the way of something this time-sensitive.
The Polis administration acknowledges that several Afghan people were vital to and cooperative with U.S. operations in Afghanistan.
Colorado has, for a long time, partnered with the federal government to provide a landing and resettling place for refugees. According to an article from Denver Post, about 2% of refugees come to the United States nationally, and many ends up settling in the Denver metro area.
Colorado also introduced the New Americans Initiative in 2019 under the Polis administration. This provided Colorado with further opportunities to set refugees up for success with housing and hiring.
On Monday, Aug. 16, President Biden announced that 6,000 U.S. troops were authorized to deploy to Afghanistan to assist in the evacuation efforts. He also authorized $500 million in aid relief for Afghan refugees, as reported by Fox29 on Tuesday, Aug. 17.