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Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees

The Obamas, Bushes and Clintons are joining a new effort to help Afghan refugees resettle in the United States. 

Former President Obama and Michelle Obama, former President George. W. Bush and Laura Bush, and former President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will serve as honorary co-chairs for the effort called Welcome.US.

In a joint statement, the Bushes said they are “proud” to support the effort.

“Thousands of Afghans stood with us on the front lines to push for a safer world, and now they need our help,” the Bushes said. “We stand ready to show our new Afghan neighbors and the rest of the world how a welcoming and generous spirit forms the backbone of what makes our country so great.”

Welcome.US was co-founded by Cecilia Muñoz, who was the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under Obama, and John Bridgeland, who held the same role under Bush. 

In a news conference, Bridgeland said the effort will provide a “single point of entry” for Americans who want to help resettle Afghan refugees.

“Welcome.US will make it easier for Americans to donate to frontline organizations, sponsor a family, host a refugee family through Airbnb, or find other ways to help,” he said.

In a press release, the group said it will also launch a national campaign to highlight the need for Americans to join the effort to help resettle Afghan refugees. It will also establish a Welcome Fund, which will provide funding to vetted nonprofit organizations helping to resettle Afghan refugees.

In addition to the former presidents and first ladies, the group also touted the support of “Welcome States,” which includes state and local officials such as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R).

The U.S. officially withdrew from Afghanistan on Aug. 31, ending America’s longest conflict. The nation evacuated over 124,000 people, the vast majority of whom were Afghans.

The former president joined President Biden in marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack that led to the conflict on Saturday at the National Sept. 11 Memorial.

Tags Afghan refugees Barack Obama Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Jared Polis Joe Biden Michelle Obama War in Afghanistan

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