AP Photo/Gulabuddin Amiri In a letter to President Joe Biden, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said the state is prepared to welcome refugee families from Afghanistan.
“You may already be aware that in the past Minnesota has stepped forward to help those who are fleeing desperate situations and need a safe place to call home,” the letter reads in part. “New Minnesotans strengthen our communities and contribute to the social fabric of our state. They are our neighbors.”
Afghans are seeking safe refuge after the Taliban reclaimed their country due to Biden’s disastrous withdrawal of American forces. Tens of thousands have been trying to flee since the Taliban takeover, with desperate crowds thronging Kabul's airport.
“Like people across the globe, Minnesotans have watched the events unfolding in Afghanistan with grief and sadness,” Walz wrote. “We stand ready to work with you and your administration to welcome families as this effort to provide safety and refuge continues.”
Afghans already residing in Minnesota say they’re willing to help new refugees, who now are at enormous risk of retribution from the Taliban.
Minnesota is already home to some of the largest Hmong, Liberian, and Somali communities in the U.S., as well as a small Afghan community. The state has also received significant numbers of refugees in recent decades from Bosnia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Russia, Vietnam, and elsewhere.