Around 100 Afghan refugees approved to settle in Maine: charity group

Around 100 Afghan refugees approved to settle in Maine: charity group
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Around 100 Afghan refugees have been approved by the federal government to settle in Maine within the next six months, Catholic Charities Maine (CCM) announced Friday

They will arrive through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration program in coordination with Afghan Placement and Assistance (APA), the group announced. 

CCM said that as part of their contract, they will give the Afghan refugees 90 days of housing, education and employment support when they arrive in Maine.

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The contract states the group is allowed to resettle 67 to 100 Afghan refugees through March 30, 2022, but there is no schedule for when the refugees could arrive. 

The refugees will not arrive under refugee status and have to apply for asylum once in the U.S.; however, they will have work authorization papers, the organization stated. 

“Ever since this humanitarian crisis began, our phones have been ringing with people wanting to help,” CEO of CCM Steve Letourneau said in a statement. 

“I’m thankful we live in a state that recognizes the value of welcoming the most vulnerable among us and that we can all come together to make the best of a worst situation,” he added. 

The organization said they had a meeting Friday with members of the community who can give more resources to the refugees once they arrive. 

Hannah DeAngelis, program director for Catholic Charities Maine Refugee Immigration Services, said during the meeting the organization was ready to help 400 refugees but numbers were cut due to the coronavirus, Sun Journal reported.

The U.S. evacuated thousands of Afghan partners that helped American troops during the 20-year conflict in the country following the Taliban consolidation of power. These people have been received by several countries, including the United States, where a majority of Afghans are housed at military bases.