How you can help Afghan refugees in Minnesota

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After the swift Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on August 15, Minnesota’s small Afghan community feared for the safety of their families back home. And then they mobilized.

In the last 10 days, the Afghan community and local refugee resettlement agencies have been thinking about ways to support new Afghan families in Minnesota—from events or fundraisers.

An estimated 500 Afghans currently live in Minnesota, but the population could grow. One refugee resettlement agency in the state has already facilitated the arrival of 13 Afghans in the last week. The Minnesota Department of Human Services has also pledged to accept 65 Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas, a program that grants translators, interpreters, and other workers who aided the U.S. military a chance to seek safety in the United States.

On Thursday, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan sent a letter to President Joe Biden offering incoming Afghan refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders a home in Minnesota. The state has a history of welcoming immigrants and refugees, who make up 8 percent of the population in Minnesota.

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