Oregon stands ready to help the federal government resettle Afghan refugee families. Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today on the situation in Afghanistan, and in support of the letter issued by Senator Kayse Jama and Representative Khanh Pham yesterday:
“As we watch the current situation unfold in Afghanistan, Oregon stands ready to help the federal government resettle Afghan refugee families.
“Over the last two decades, thousands of Afghans have worked alongside U.S. military service members, as interpreters and translators and in other roles, risking their lives as they contributed to our efforts in their country. The lives of Afghan women and girls are at risk simply because they had the audacity to learn in school and pursue careers. Equal rights advocates are being targeted for seeking a more just future with equal rights for all. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Afghanistan are in danger because of who they are and who they love. Oregon is ready to welcome any and all Afghans who would make our state their home.
“In Oregon, we welcome refugees from around the world, recognizing that resettlement is a lifeline our country provides for survivors of violence and oppression. We all thrive when we accept refugees into our communities. We benefit from the diversity of thought, opinion, and culture that refugee families bring. Oregon has welcomed more than 75,000 refugees since 1975. And these communities are a vital part of the fabric of Oregon’s history, culture, and economy.
“Oregon is ready to welcome our refugee sisters and brothers from Afghanistan, and the rest of the world. I am hopeful the Biden-Harris administration, along with Congress, will lift refugee admission caps and take other emergency humanitarian actions to save lives. It’s critical that the United States take steps to evacuate as many people in danger from Afghanistan as quickly as possible, including expediting the visa approval process, particularly for those Afghans and their families who have risked their lives in service of this country.
“Oregon will continue to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all who call our state home – including and especially our immigrant and refugee communities.”