Nearly 500 Afghan refugees may soon be on way to Kansas

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) - Afghan refugees may soon be on their way to Kansas. President Joe Biden plans to send nearly 500 of the 37,000 refugees in the first wave to The Sunflower State. Where will they end up within the state? That’s a question without a concrete answer.

The Biden administration on Wednesday, Sept. 15, reached out to state governors and refugee organizations regarding the numbers of Afghan refugees that will be dispersed to each state across the country. While it’s not yet clear where the refugees expected in Kansas will wind up, in Hays, CrossPoint Church Pastor Micah Sanderson said refugees are welcome in his church and the Hays community.

“For us as a church, we just want to do the best that we can to receive people and just try to meet the needs that we can,” Sanderson said. Whether that be a financial need, maybe that would be food, maybe they need clothing. Whatever it might be, we definitely would be (trying) to be involved in some way.”

Upon arrival, each refugee will receive more than $1,200 to cover living expenses. In order to maintain health and safety, each person will undergo a health screening and if he or she is 12 years old or older, they are required to get vaccinated.

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) voiced some concerns.

“While we try to show compassion, this administration must not waiver in its efforts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Kansans and all Americans, period,” Sen. Marshall said. “...Governor Kelly must ensure all refugees stepping foot in Kansas have been vetted to the highest degree in a third country to safeguard our national and state’s security.”

The Biden administration plans to have nearly 65,000 Afghan refugees come to the U.S. by the end the month and 95,000 by the end of next September.

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