Last week, the Biden Administration announced that the first group of roughly 36,000 Afghans brought to the U.S. at rapid speed will be resettled across 46 states — including Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
The only areas not receiving Afghans are Hawaii, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, and Washington, DC.
With more details from the Biden Administration on the resettlement operation, more Republican governors have come out to support the plan. In August, without having vetting or screening details, 10 Republican governors announced their support for the plan and asked Biden to resettle Afghans in their states.
Those 10 Republican governors include South Carolina’s Henry McMaster, Maryland’s Larry Hogan, Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker, Utah’s Spencer Cox, Georgia’s Brian Kemp, Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson, Arizona’s Doug Ducey, Iowa’s Kim Reynolds, Oklahoma’s Kevin Stitts, and Vermont’s Phil Scott.
Another eight Republican governors have since green lit the plan, including:
- Alabama’s Kay Ivey
- Idaho’s Brad Little
- Indiana’s Eric Holcomb
- Montana’s Greg Gianforte
- Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts
- New Hampshire’s Chris Sununu
- Ohio’s Mike DeWine
- Tennessee’s Bill Lee
In Alabama, which initially have 10 Afghans resettled in the state, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said in a statement that Americans owe “a debt of gratitude to those allies who actively helped our soldiers and diplomats stay safe during our two decades in the country.”
While hundreds will be resettled across Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) thanked the refugee contractors who will resettle Afghans with taxpayer money:
These are individuals who have been partners with United States and deserve our support in return for the support they’ve given us. Thank you to the resettlement agencies and communities who have stepped forward and demonstrated they have the resources necessary to help these individuals in their time of need. [Emphasis added]
Gov. Bill Lee (R) told local media that he wants “full transparency” from the Biden administration in regards to the vetting process for Afghans while still voicing support for the plan.
“Whether it’s persecuted Christians or interpreters who served with our troops, Tennesseans have the right to know exactly who is being settled where,” Lee said. “While we await more information from the federal government, we are in direct communication with our congressional delegation, members of the General Assembly, and local officials.”
Earlier this month, when the Biden administration announced that thousands of Afghans who have not completed their immigration processing would be housed at Indiana’s Camp Atterbury, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said he supported bringing Afghans to the state so they could take jobs.
In recent days, Holcomb has solicited donations from Indiana taxpayers to provide Afghans staying at Camp Atterbury with necessities such as clothes and hygiene products.
Montana will have at least 75 Afghans resettled across the state by the Biden administration, a plan that Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) fully supports:
Montana welcomes our fully-vetted Afghan allies who worked alongside us, have left their homes in the face of the Taliban’s reemerging, merciless terror and seek freedom and safety. [Emphasis added]
In 2016, while running for governor, Gianforte campaigned on halting refugee resettlement to the U.S. — sharply criticizing former President Obama’s resettlement of Syrians across the nation.
While Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) said he wants to be in Norfolk, Nebraska, when Afghans touch down for resettlement in the state to publicly and personally greet them, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) said last week that he is “a lot more reassured” after having spoken to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials about the vetting process that Afghans will undergo while being resettled in New Hampshire.
Gov. Brad Little (R) wrote a letter to Biden stating he and state legislators would “not tolerate” any changes to the vetting process “in order to expedite the resettlement of refugees” but said it is Americans’ “responsibility to provide safety to those who have stood alongside America even in the most difficult of times.”
States, counties, and local communities no longer have any veto power over refugee resettlement. Former President Trump had signed an executive order in 2019 granting states and local jurisdictions the power to refuse refugees, but Biden, in February, rescinded the order.
Over the last 20 years, nearly a million refugees have been resettled in the nation — more than double the residents living in Miami, Florida, and it would be the equivalent of annually adding the population of Pensacola, Florida.
Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to research, and each refugee costs taxpayers about $133,000 over the course of their lifetime. Within five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers. ✪