States and cities across the country have joined in the effort to open their communities to Afghan newcomers.
Red States and Blue States are giving way to Welcome States as dozens of governors across the political spectrum share that their states are open to newcomers – and as unrelenting state and local leaders in all fifty states go above and beyond to prepare their states to be as supportive and safe as possible.
Organizations in Arkansas are preparing to receive Afghan refugees into Arkansas who have supported our men and women in uniform for nearly 20 years. We have a responsibility to these heroes and their families. We want to do our part to help America remain that shining city on a hill.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) – Chair, National Governors Association
I'm proud of the fact that over the last decade California has taken in more refugees than any other state in America, and I'm proud of the fact a disproportionate number of Afghan refugees are here in California. We stand ready to assist those in need. As the nation’s most diverse state, we don’t simply tolerate diversity, we celebrate it.
Gov Gavin Newsom (D)
In Colorado, our state and local communities are proud partners in global humanitarian and refugee resettlement efforts, and Colorado has long partnered with the federal government to play our part. Our veteran community knows the value of the role these Afghans played overseas, and our greater Colorado community shares with you American values of humanitarianism and compassion. Colorado stands ready to receive Afghan refugees.
Gov Jared Polis (D)
It is a bedrock principle of the United States of America to welcome to our shores those fleeing tyranny, persecution and violence. Now, amidst great uncertainty and challenge in Afghanistan, we are being called to uphold that principle. Connecticut has a legacy of being there for those in need, and we are proud to answer the call and honor our longstanding commitment to welcoming refugees by welcoming and supporting Afghan evacuees. In partnership with Welcome.Us, local resettlement agencies and many community-based organizations, we are ready to provide a safe haven and hope for tomorrow to all who are resettled in communities across our state.
Gov Ned Lamont (D)
Indiana is a willing partner to help Afghan refugees who have put their lives on the line in support of the United States for the past 20 years. We owe this to them, and there’s no better way to help than to offer aid to those who aided and protected us.
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb (R)
Helping our Afghan allies build new lives is not a Republican issue or a Democratic issue--it's just common sense. Alongside so many partners who are equally dedicated to this effort, we are directing all available resources to help because it’s the right thing for all of us to do.
Gov Larry Hogan (R)
I am deeply thankful for the men and women who have fought to protect the homeland and pray for the safety of all those now serving. Massachusetts is ready to assist Afghan refugees seeking safety and peace in America.
Gov. Charlie Baker (R)
Minnesota has a strong tradition of welcoming those who seek refuge and supporting them to rebuild their lives and become part of our communities. Minnesota is eager to uphold that tradition by welcoming families and children and providing the stable foundation they need to rebuild their lives, achieve their highest potential, and contribute to our state. We stand ready to work with the Biden Administration to welcome families as this effort to provide safety and refuge continues.
Gov. Tim Walz (D)
New Hampshire has a long history of supporting individuals seeking political asylum through the State Department – including individuals from Afghanistan in years past – and those who helped the United States in Afghanistan and are now in grave danger should be helped.
Gov Chris Sununu (R)
The state of New Jersey stands ready to welcome our Afghan allies. These brave individuals and families – many of whom have worked to assist our military or put their own lives on the line in support of human rights and American initiatives – must not be left behind… We know that the Afghans we welcome to New Jersey, like so many refugee populations before them, will make enormous contributions to our state’s culture, community, and economy. New Jersey will be better for having them.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D) – Vice Chair, National Governors Association
New Mexico is here to help resettle and accommodate those individuals and families who’ve spent the past two decades supporting our U.S. troops, diplomatic personnel, and efforts to bring peace, democracy, and security to Afghanistan.
Gov Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
Ensuring the safety of Afghan allies who assisted our troops in Afghanistan is critically important and shows the world that the United States keeps its word and will help those who help us. These allies and their families sacrificed their safety to stand by our troops and they should be vetted and then welcomed by North Carolinians and Americans all across the country.
Gov Roy Cooper (D)
We need to support our Afghan allies who helped keep us safe for two decades after 9/11. Ohio is very proud to be a Welcome State.
Gov. Mike DeWine (R)
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.
Gov. Kate Brown (D)
Pennsylvania is in contact with federal and local partners to coordinate resources to resettle Afghan refugees seeking safety from violence. Our commonwealth has long served as a refuge for those seeking peace and stability amid crisis, and we will continue to help in any way possible.
Gov Tom Wolf (D)
Rhode Island stands ready to welcome Afghan allies and families eager to seek solace and safety in our state — a state settled by refugees. To the Afghan citizens fleeing from persecution, we can offer not only a welcoming refuge, but also an opportunity to prosper and contribute to a vibrant community.
Gov Dan McKee (D)
Utah's history guides our approach to refugees. Our state was settled by refugees fleeing religious persecution 170 years ago. Their descendants have a deep understanding of the danger and pain caused by forced migration and an appreciation for the wonderful contributions of refugees in our communities. We have a long history of welcoming refugees from around the world and are eager to continue that practice and assist with the resettlement of individuals and families fleeing Afghanistan.
Gov Spencer Cox (R)
Many Afghan people now fleeing their homes have bravely contributed to work in Afghanistan over the past two decades. Just as they protected us in serving our country and helped keep our troops safe, we owe it to them to protect and keep them safe. Wisconsin is ready to assist these efforts and help these individuals who served our country and are now seeking refuge.
Gov Tony Evers (D)
Much of the resettlement process plays out locally as evacuees are matched to specific cities – where they will find a supportive community and safe haven. More mayors every day are stepping up to make it clear that they are ready to go above and beyond for these newcomers. Here is what they are saying:
Albany has had the privilege of welcoming immigrants and refugees from Afghanistan to our community for many years. They work in our hospitals, schools and manufacturing facilities. They strengthen our neighborhoods and start small businesses. We are eager to provide our Afghan allies with the support, stability and opportunity they need as they seek to rebuild their lives here.
Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Albuquerque’s strength has always been its diversity and we are ready to welcome refugees today, as we have many times before. Afghans are fleeing a home country they are no longer safe in, and the weeks and months ahead of them will no doubt be filled with uncertainty. But together we can make certain that refugees, thousands of whom risked their lives to support our American service members, will find safe, welcoming homes in our cities and towns and the support they need to build new lives.
Mayor Tim Keller
Austin is here, with open arms, to receive Afghan refugees and provide support, services, and safety to those starting a new chapter in this city. We are a community that supports one another, and service organizations have already been flooded with offers of groceries, gift cards, and furniture. The Welcome.US project provides another resource for Austinites to support Afghan refugees and welcome our new neighbors.
Mayor Steve Adler
The City of Boise has a longstanding history of welcoming refugees from all over the world. In 2017, we passed a Welcoming City resolution which recognizes that foreign-born Boise residents are a vital part of our community, bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas, starting businesses, and contributing to the vibrant, diverse community we all value. I remain committed to welcoming those seeking refuge, and firmly believe that individuals and families fleeing Afghanistan should be permitted safe passage so that they can be resettled. We stand ready to provide support to Afghan community members who already reside in Boise, their families, and those who have fled and will flee Kabul in the coming weeks; as well as the Neighbors United network and refugee resettlement agencies providing direct support and resources to new arrivals.
Mayor Lauren McLean
Boston is a City of immigrants and has a long-standing commitment to welcome those who need help. Immigrants make great contributions to our City and add to its cultural diversity. As Mayor of Boston, we welcome those fleeing Afghanistan and are ready to help our new neighbors build lives for themselves in our communities.
Mayor Kim Janey
I know I speak on behalf of our citizens here in Charleston when I say, we’re honored to stand with the brave Afghan men and women who risked their lives to stand with America during our longest war. We welcome these friends with open arms, and seek to offer them a place of safety and fellowship as they set out to build new lives in a new land.
Mayor John Tecklenburg
I join mayors representing cities across the globe declaring a commitment to welcome Afghan refugees and other evacuees into our communities. I am urging the federal government to expand pathways to humanitarian support to ensure all who seek freedom and safety are able to do so. They have given up their homes, their families, their lives as they know them for a chance to survive. The journey they have experienced is one very few of us can comprehend. But as they enter the U.S., and eventually settle into a new life in the States, some will make their way to Chicago. I want to state unequivocally that in this great city, we welcome refugees. We know that they, like those before them, will re-build their lives here, they will strengthen community, they will be able to raise their children here all the while adding to Chicago’s vibrant story
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot
The City of Cleveland has welcomed immigrants and refugees for centuries. Today is no exception. Cleveland was one of just nineteen cities identified by the U.S. State Department for Afghan refugee resettlement, thanks to our already diverse city and welcoming community. We are home to over 120 cultural and ethnic communities, including both the Afghan and the Ukrainian community. We stand ready to accept refugees fleeing war in Ukraine today. All are welcome to call our land “home.”
Mayor Justin Bibb
The compassionate people of our City of Columbia are ready to extend open arms to welcome the Afghan refugees, who have shown their love for America through their heroic efforts supporting our armed forces and the many American civilians who served during the Afghanistan conflict. As they have undertaken a courageous effort to reach our shores, I am honored to join the coalition of US mayors as well as resettlement agencies, members of our faith communities, human and civil rights organizations, veterans and local businesses to form the big tent community they can now think of as their home.
Mayor Steve Benjamin
Columbus is a smart, open and welcoming city, with a growing population of immigrants and refugees from around the globe. We welcome the settlement of Afghan refugees who have given up so much just for the safety and security of their families. We will help them rebuild their lives and become part of the vibrant and diverse fabric of our great city.
Mayor Andrew Ginther
Dallas has long served as a welcoming city for people seeking refuge from all over the world, and we are proud to be designated as the first certified Welcoming City in Texas. Our city is diverse, vibrant, and community-oriented. Our nonprofits, businesses, faith-based organizations, education institutions and volunteers helped us welcome approximately 400 Afghan refugees in the last year. And as this international crisis unfolds and Afghans seek refuge, Dallas will continue to serve as a beacon to those seeking new opportunities and new lives. We strongly encourage other cities, states, and nations to do the same.
Mayor Eric Johnson
In Dayton, we pride ourselves on being a Welcoming City, and we stand ready to welcome Afghans into our community. We have always found that Dayton is made better by newcomers from around the globe, and look forward to the contributions of all of our new neighbors.
Mayor Nan Whaley
Denver will continue to be a welcoming city for refugees and stands ready to assist local and national efforts to resettle the men and women who served as our allies in Afghanistan. These men, women, and children have fled their homes, extended family, friends, and communities with the hope of building a new life safe from violence and persecution. Denver will proudly welcome them into the fabric of our diverse city.
Mayor Michael B. Hancock
Our city of Fremont, CA is a compassionate city and home to one of the largest Afghan communities in the Bay Area (United States). Fremont’s community has a strong track record of coming together in times of need and our city has previously welcomed refugees to our community. The City of Fremont has organized a local fundraising campaign and we stand again at the ready to assist in collaboration with our neighboring Bay Area cities in resettling Afghan refugee families.
Mayor Lily Mei
Our armed forces did heroic work rescuing tens of thousands of our Afghan allies, and as a country our mission now turns to welcoming them and helping them begin new lives — for their benefit, and for ours. Hartford has a long and proud history of welcoming refugees, but I’m proud to join Democrats and Republicans from across the country to say that America is ready and eager to welcome Afghan allies who worked side by side with our troops and diplomats. These Afghans risked their lives to work on behalf of our country, and in some cases their work saved the lives of Americans in uniform. Hartford, Connecticut, and communities across America will be stronger and more prosperous when we welcome them as our own.
Mayor Luke Bronin
Throughout Houston’s history, we’ve always stepped up to welcome refugees from across the globe. Since the 1970’s families displaced due to war, including our Afghan Allies call Houston home. Houston will continue to embrace these families as our own. That’s just who Houston is.
Mayor Sylvester Turner
Indianapolis is ready to welcome Afghan refugees into our neighborhoods, joining partners at the local, state, and national level in expressing our support for those who now call the United States home. Throughout our history, Indianapolis has received immigrants from across the world, and we hope to similarly offer a place of comfort, freedom, and opportunity to the Afghans who have done so much to aid Americans over the past two decades.
Mayor Joe Hogsett
Kansas City, MO
Kansas City is a community that cares about people and would proudly accept refugees from Afghanistan who have served bravely by our side over the past generation. We stand ready to help our allies who helped us so much over the 20 years of the conflict in Afghanistan, and all who need a new place to call home
Mayor Quinton Lucas
Lincoln has a long tradition of welcoming refugees into the fabric of our community. We value the richness they bring to our economic, cultural, and daily life. Our refugee neighbors provide valuable skills to Lincoln’s workforce, enhance our city’s vibrant culture, and teach us all how to be citizens of the world. For these reasons and more, we stand ready to assist Afghan refugees who seek a safe home in Lincoln.
Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird
Long Beach, CA
Long Beach has a long history of helping immigrants and refugees settle in the United States – and we will continue to demonstrate that compassion by welcoming our Afghan allies in need. From our Cambodian community to the work done by our churches and faith organizations, we have been a city that has led with kindness. As an immigrant, I know how important it is to support all people, especially children and families – and our city will be proud to step up to this effort
Mayor Robert Garcia
Louisville is a rich and vibrant place, in part because we have a tradition of welcoming new families and cultures. Without the diversity and energy of our immigrant community, Louisville would not be complete, and we are proud to reaffirm our support for our Afghan allies starting a new life in our city.
Mayor Greg Fischer
As refugees from Afghanistan arrive in Wisconsin, Madison Common Council Leadership and I would like to extend a warm welcome and reaffirm our city's commitment to treating refugees with dignity, care and respect. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families and local resettlement agencies are providing assistance to Afghan individuals and families who are arriving here in the United States via Fort McCoy. As refugees are resettled in new homes and communities throughout our state, I am thankful to our residents and partners who are supporting those settling here in Dane County. Madison is proud to be a welcoming city.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway
Mesa is a city of compassion and kindness, and I am often overcome by the capacity of our community to offer support to those in need. In this instance, it’s about offering an opportunity for safety and survival after extreme hardship. We are ready to work with our local, state and federal partners to welcome and connect Afghan refugees and evacuees with resources and assistance. Being displaced from your home or family or both is an enormously challenging experience, and I am proud to join with other mayors across the country in this important humanitarian effort.
Milwaukee has grown and its character evolved with generations of new people coming to our community. With every immigrant, our city is stronger. Afghan refugees will add to our diversity, continuing a long tradition of innovation and hard work brought by new arrivals. In a word, I say “welcome!”
Mayor Tom Barrett
Oakland is America’s most unapologetic Sanctuary City and we will welcome our Afghan sisters and brothers with open arms. Our country’s greatest strength is our diversity, and every family who arrives on our shores deserves our warmth and compassion — no matter who you are or how you got here.
Mayor Libby Schaaf
Orlando is a multicultural city, and we have a long history of welcoming immigrants and refugees to our community. Our country's Afghan allies have stood with the United States for 20 years; now it is time for us to stand with them. We know Afghan refugees will strengthen the very fabric of our community with their culture, traditions, and courageous spirit. The City of Orlando is committed to continuing the work to ensure that each person that calls our city home is equally valued, equally protected, and has equitable access to opportunities and making sure that our community is welcoming and inclusive.
Mayor Buddy Dyer
Over the last few weeks, the city of Philadelphia has welcomed more than 10,000 evacuees from Afghanistan and we will continue to support those seeking a safe haven in our country. As a Welcoming City, we are proud to work alongside dozens of local, state and federal partners to support this humanitarian effort. It has been a herculean effort and I'm grateful for everyone who has stepped up to contribute in this time of need. In Philadelphia, we know our diversity is our greatest strength. We stand ready to protect the rights and dignity of the Afghan individuals and families and will continue helping to provide the resources and support they need if should they choose to make Philadelphia their permanent home.
Mayor Jim Kenney
Phoenix has a long history of welcoming newcomers and helping them adopt us as a new home. We are excited to embrace people newly arriving from Afghanistan, and to help them overcome their trauma and resettle here. Phoenix has a vibrant, existing Afghan community. Its expansion will make this city even more richly diverse.
Mayor Kate Gallego
Providence has a long-standing tradition of welcoming people from all walks of life into our great city. As Americans, it is our duty to protect Afghan refugees, as so many of them have helped keep us safe from harm over the last 20 years. We stand ready to welcome you to our city.
Mayor Jorge Elorza
As a Welcoming City since 2017, the City of Reno prides itself on being a community where all of our residents and visitors feel welcomed, safe and able to fully participate in our economic and social life. We are committed to remaining welcoming in the City of Reno, and in our great state of Nevada.
Mayor Hillary Schieve
Salem has a long and storied legacy of welcoming immigrants and new neighbors to our historic city. We support and embrace our nation’s longstanding practice of welcoming refugees and those in need as it reflects our values as a nation and our unwavering respect and support for human rights. Salem is a sanctuary for peace, welcoming all without discrimination and including all in our vibrant community’s success and prosperity.
Mayor Kimberley Driscoll
Salt Lake County, UT
As the first Certified Welcoming county in the nation, Salt Lake County stands at the ready to welcome the Afghan refugees fleeing their country and our community is prepared to receive them with open arms. Salt Lake County’s history of welcoming refugees dates back to the founding of our state. Working with our partners, International Rescue Commission and Catholic Community Services, we will continue to ensure that the services and programs to quickly and compassionately resettle Afghan refugees into our community are ready to go.
Mayor Jenny Wilson
San Antonio, TX
As Military City, USA, San Antonio has a rich history of embracing and welcoming the veterans who have served America’s interests. Refugees from Afghanistan served alongside our men and women in uniform and risked their lives served alongside our men and women in uniform, and risked their lives and families in support of the United States’ mission in Afghanistan. Hundreds of Afghan refugees with Special Immigrant Visas have been relocated to San Antonio in recent months, with more expected through the end of the year. We welcome these refugees and their families, and we will continue working through the resettlement process to help them integrate into our communities. Helping Afghans who fled their homes because of their cooperation with the U.S. military and opposition to the Taliban is the embodiment of the City’s commitment to the military, as well as a demonstration of our compassion.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg
San Diego, CA
The City of San Diego stands ready to welcome our Afghan allies and their families. These Afghans worked to build a brighter future for their country, and risked their lives in support of our mission in Afghanistan - it is now our time to fulfill our promise to welcome them with open arms, as friends and new neighbors. San Diego has long been a welcoming community and we have developed a Welcoming San Diego initiative and strategic plan to help newcomers integrate into their communities, including through the refugee resettlement process. I look forward to welcoming them to their new home and to see all the positive contributions they will make in our community, our state, and our country.
Mayor Todd Gloria
Scranton was built on welcoming immigration, entrepreneurship, and different cultures and religions. We stand ready to welcome our new Afghan neighbors to our city.
Mayor Paige Cognetti
St. Louis, MO
We are ready to welcome Afghan citizens and their families to the Gateway City with open arms and hearts. St. Louis has a history of welcoming survivors of war to our home. We know these Afghan citizens will strengthen our region and enrich our city’s culture.
Mayor Tishaura Jones
The City of Tucson has an extensive history of welcoming refugees and immigrants from around the world into our community with open arms. Today, thousands of refugees and immigrants call Tucson home, each of them adding to the cultural vibrancy and diversity that is at the heart of our city's identity. We stand ready to welcome Afghan refugees and evacuees to Tucson, and assist in any way we can with their transition.
Mayor Regina Romero
Tulsa has a long-lasting tradition of welcoming newcomers to our city and we have continued in that spirit as Afghans come to Tulsa to seek refuge in America. I am proud of our community’s collective efforts to welcome our new neighbors and grateful for the many in our city who are showing the nation what a welcoming city looks like.