Governor Hogan Joins National Coalition to Support Resettlement of Afghan Allies in the United States
State of Maryland Press Release:
Welcome.US Initiative Co-Chaired By Bushes, Obamas, and Clintons Partnership With Nonprofits, Businesses, Universities, and Faith-Based Organizations
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the State of Maryland has joined Welcome.US, a national initiative to mobilize Americans to welcome and support the resettlement of Afghan allies in the United States.
This effort is being co-chaired by former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as former first ladies Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama.
“There was a time not too long ago when we would say that ‘politics stops at the water’s edge,’” said Governor Hogan. “Sadly, that is not the case anymore. But this call to action transcends the toxic politics of the moment, and I ask all Marylanders—and all Americans—to help us prove once again why this nation truly is the ‘the last best hope of earth.’”
Maryland ranks fourth in the nation for accepting special immigrant visa (SIV) holders. Last month, during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, Governor Hogan announced that the state was ready and willing to receive more Afghan allies.
In partnership with resettlement agencies, Afghan-American organizations and leaders, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based organizations, veterans, universities, and government leaders, Welcome.US establishes a single clearinghouse for Americans seeking to support Afghan allies who are starting new lives in the United States.
Welcome.US is providing a platform to connect the needs of Afghan allies with support from the American people by making it easy for Americans to donate to front line organizations, provide time or services to groups that need their help, and offer their home or support to a family.
Marylanders can visit governor.maryland.gov/welcome-us/ to learn more about how to be part of this national effort.
State of Maryland’s Efforts to Aid Afghan Allies
Maryland expects to receive more Afghan nationals through ‘Operation Allies Refuge,’ an ongoing operation that provides SIVs to Afghan and Iraqi nationals who have contributed to U.S. efforts, whether through translation, interpretation, security, transportation, or other vital services. Maryland currently ranks fourth in the nation for SIV arrivals, having resettled more than 6,800 SIVs over the last decade.
Resettlement of SIV holders is led by the Maryland Office for Refugees and Asylees (MORA), a division of the Department of Human Services (DHS). MORA has helped more than 40,000 refugees make Maryland their home, aiding their transition from “displaced persons” to independent, contributing members of the national economy and the local community.