‘It’s our duty and honor to welcome them’: Whitmer on Michigan preparing to receive Afghan refugees

Afghans desperate to flee homeland following takeover by Taliban

Demonstrators hold placards, during a protest in Parliament Square, London, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Britains government says it plans to take in 5,000 Afghan refugees this year, especially women and children, in response to the Taliban's seizure of power. Officials provided details about the resettlement program on Wednesday as lawmakers held a heated emergency debate on developments in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Demonstrators hold placards, during a protest in Parliament Square, London, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021. Britains government says it plans to take in 5,000 Afghan refugees this year, especially women and children, in response to the Taliban's seizure of power. Officials provided details about the resettlement program on Wednesday as lawmakers held a heated emergency debate on developments in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – As the United States begins to accept refugees from Afghanistan Michigan groups are preparing to ensure those who come to the state have support.

On Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement highlighting her position on Afghans resettling in the state.

“Michigan’s greatest strength is and always has been our people. We have a rich history of multiculturalism from the Dutch who settled in the West, to the Finns who mined the North, to the Middle Easterners who made Dearborn a flourishing center for Arab culture, and countless others who make us who we are. People from around the world have come to Michigan over centuries for good-paying jobs, a high-quality education for their kids, and the right to live and worship freely, said Whitmer in the statement.

The statement continued, “Now, as Afghan families flee violence and political persecution, it is our duty and honor to welcome them with that fundamental Michigan spirit of friendliness. The State of Michigan embraces the opportunity to welcome Afghan families as they find a new home to begin their lives. As the situation in Afghanistan continues to unfold and we wait to hear further details from the U.S. State Department, the State of Michigan’s departments and agencies are gearing up to ensure Afghans who may come to our state have the support they need to succeed. A network of departments across the state are at the ready to help ensure those who arrive in Michigan can get their feet on the ground.”

Currently, other states around the country are preparing to welcome Afghan refugees with open arms. Other countries including some in Europe plan to receive Afghanistan refugees.

The future of civilians under Taliban rule remains uncertain and grim after the terrorist group toppled the country’s government this month.

Afghanistan civilians are desperate to flee a country now under Taliban rule.

Taliban militants gained control of the country after President Joe Biden ended the 20-year war in Afghanistan as he promised. The president is being criticized for how he ended the Afghanistan War. During the war the country’s mission focused on defeating the Taliban, which gained power swiftly after its end.

“We are grateful to the tens of thousands of Americans, including roughly 70,000 Michiganders, for their service to our country and to their families who made untold sacrifices over the past two decades. We must also recognize the complex set of emotions they may be feeling at this time. There are sons and daughters leaving Afghanistan today whose moms and dads fought in the same conflict a lifetime ago. There are tens of thousands of Afghans who helped our military on the ground who are now fearing for their lives,” added Whitmer.

How to seek help

The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (1-800-MICH-VET) is available to help veterans who served in the Afghanistan War.


About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.