Refugee resettlement agencies in Connecticut are preparing to welcome hundreds more newcomers under changes in immigration policy by President Joe Biden’s Administration.
Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven said close to 250 refugees could come to the area this year and next.
Chris George is the executive director of IRIS. He said this is a big change from immigration policy under the Trump Administration, when the country allowed only 10,000 refugees entry.
“The Biden Administration promised to really pump it up over 100,000 so refugees agencies across the country, there’s about 200 of us, various nonprofits, we’re all gearing up for much larger numbers,” George said.
This comes as President Biden withdrew U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but left 18,000 Afghan’s who have helped American military for over 20 years.
George said the Afghans who supported the U.S. that wish to come to the states will be granted a special immigration visa.
“We’re all worried and Afghans are worried and the Afghans that live in Connecticut are terrified for their friends and their relatives who are back left in Afghanistans. Every day, you know, someone is asking me what can we do,” George said.
George said to remind elected representatives to protect these refugees. He said he hopes IRIS can help as many Afghans as possible.
George said community groups and private donations could help IRIS double refugee resettlements in Connecticut to more than 1,000.