Kathy Hochul says NY will welcome Afghan refugees: ‘It’s time for us to help them’

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Lt. Gov Kathy Hochul, who will soon succeed disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo as New York’s chief executive, said Wednesday that the Empire State is “committed” to helping Afghan refugees.

“When I served in Congress, I met with many Afghans when I traveled to their country,” Hochul tweeted Thursday morning. “They were there for us, now it’s time for us to help them. NY is committed to doing our part to welcome refugees fleeing Afghanistan.”

“The arms of the Statue of Liberty are open wide to you,” she added.

Hochul will next week replace the the scandal-scarred Cuomo, who recently announced he will resign after a state Attorney General probe that documented his alleged serial sexual misconduct was unveiled.

The incoming governor tweeted that it’s now “time to help” Afghans fleeing the Taliban.
Twitter

Also Thursday, a group of New York State lawmakers beseeched President Joe Biden to welcome those fleeing Afghanistan, where the Taliban has taken over as American troops were withdrawn from the country after two decades.

“New York has always been committed to being an inclusive and welcoming state for immigrants and refugees,” reads the letter addressed to the president, signed by 40 members of the state legislature.

“While the situation in Afghanistan unfolds, we write to you as elected officials from new York State saying we will welcome asylum seekers and refugees from Afghanistan and stand ready to support them when they are here.”

US soldiers stand guard behind barbed wire as Afghans sit on a roadside near the military part of the airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021, hoping to flee from the country after the Taliban's military takeover of Afghanistan.
The United States recently left Afghanistan, causing a rapid Taliban takeover.
Wakil Kohsar/AFP/Getty Images

The letter came after earlier this week Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Westchester) called for the federal government to increase the amount of refugees from Afghanistan the U.S. accepts.

“We must ensure that the Afghan people are given refuge,” the lawmaker said in a tweet Monday. “In doing so, we should reassess the humanity and viability of the White House’s limit on refugee arrivals — and exceed that limit if necessary.”

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