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Arizona ready to 'welcome Afghan refugees,' Gov. Ducey says

"Arizona recognizes the service of thousands of Afghans over the last 20 years," the governor and State Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers said in a press release.

PHOENIX — Some of the refugees fleeing from the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan may soon make their way to Arizona, whose state government "wholeheartedly welcomes" them, according to a recent statement from State Gov. Doug Ducey and State Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers.

“The Afghans fleeing the Taliban regime served alongside America’s military forces and fought for freedom," the statement said. "We are ready to welcome them and help them settle into their new home in the land of the free."

People arriving from Afghanistan through the U.S. refugee resettlement program will be vetted by national security agencies and granted legal entry into the country, the statement said. After being cleared, they'll be moved into state-run resettlement programs.

RELATED: How you can help Afghan refugees

Arizona, specifically Phoenix and Tucson, have historically had some of the highest refugee arrivals of any other state, according to the International Rescue Committee's (IRC) website.

Data from the Arizona Department of Economic Security shows that the Grand Canyon State has regularly resettled three to six percent of national refugee admissions since 1997, the IRC said.

The department has its own office of refugee resettlement and will work with incoming refugees in multiple ways, including:

  • Securing housing and employment
  • Enroll in English classes
  • Connect them to healthcare resources
  • Helping enroll their children in schools

"They helped our military members in their country, and now we stand ready to help them in ours," the statement said.

Learn more about the Arizona Refugee Resettlement Program on the program's website here.

RELATED: 'This is manifestly not Saigon' | Why are people comparing the Kabul airport to Vietnam?

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