New York state could welcome as many as 1,143 Afghan refugees who left the country this summer amid the U.S. withdrawal and collapse of the country's government, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday said.
The number of refugees who could re-settle in New York is based on new guidance by the U.S. Department of State, Hochul said.
Afghan nationals are expected to be placed in communities across the state. That includes 100 people in Albany, 335 in Buffalo, 240 in the New York City area, 200 people in Rochester, 248 refugees in Syracuse and 20 people in Utica. Some Afghan nationals have already arrived in New York.
"New York has a storied history of welcoming those seeking a safe haven from violence and persecution — a proud tradition our state continues today by helping evacuees from Afghanistan rebuild," Gov. Hochul said. "The heart-wrenching images and stories of people fleeing their homeland were a call to action that New York State is more than willing to answer. We welcome our new Afghan friends with open arms and pledge to provide them the assistance they can rely on to rebuild anew."
Refugees in New York will be aided by the Bureau of Refugee Services, part of the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
"Many of us cannot fathom the fear and hardships endured by the Afghans now arriving in our state," OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein said. "Our role now is to welcome them into our communities, help them to rebuild their lives, and to embrace them as our neighbors. We look forward to them becoming part of the rich cultural tapestry that is New York state."