Murphy says New Jersey to help resettle about 500 Afghans

Evacuees stand inside Philadelphia International Airport

Evacuees stand inside Philadelphia International Airport after arriving to the U.S. (City of Philadelphia)

New Jersey will host about 500 Afghan evacuees, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday.

New Jersey’s Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst served as an arrival point for “many thousands” of Afghans who left their homeland as the United States withdrew its troops from the country, according to Murphy. It’s unclear how exactly the state is helping the refugees, but Murphy said the state was eager to assist.

“We want to do our share whether temporary or permanent,” he said.

Murphy, a Democrat, didn’t offer much detail on the evacuees, but promised more specifics soon.

The Biden administration last week began telling governors how many Afghan evacuees from among the first group of nearly 37,000 arrivals are slated to be resettled in their states.

California is projected to take more arrivals than any other — more than 5,200 people, according to State Department data for the Afghan Placement and Assistance program obtained by The Associated Press.

The Biden administration has requested funding from Congress to help resettle 65,000 Afghans in the United States by the end of this month and 95,000 by September 2022. President Joe Biden tapped the former governor of his home state of Delaware, Jack Markell, to temporarily serve as his point person on resettling Afghan evacuees in the United States.

States with a historically large number of Afghans who resettled in the U.S. over the last 20 years — including California, Maryland, Texas and Virginia — are again welcoming a disproportionate number of evacuees, according to the data.

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