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Evers: State ready to help Afghan refugees resettle at Fort McCoy

Fort McCoy
Fort McCoy(CNN/WXOW)
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 4:26 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2021 at 8:18 PM CDT
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TOMAH, Wis. (WMTV) - Governor Tony Evers says Tuesday that Wisconsin is ready to house Afghan refugees seeking shelter at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

“Many Afghan people now fleeing their homes have bravely contributed to work in Afghanistan over the past two decades,” said Evers. “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.”

Evers explained that he has been talking with federal partners on resettlement efforts for Afghan refugees.

“As we learn more information, Wisconsin is ready to assist these efforts and help these individuals who served our country and are now seeking refuge,” he said.

The governor also acknowledged Wisconsin soldiers who served in Afghanistan over the past two decades, noting they may be experiencing trauma and anxiety as events unfold.

“We are thinking of them and are reminded today and in the days ahead to offer each other support, patience, and kindness and treat one another with empathy, respect, and compassion,” said Evers.

According to the Pentagon Monday, the Dept. of Defense may relocate up to 30,000 Afghans to Fort Bliss, in Texas, and Fort McCoy, in Monroe Co., Wisconsin. The Afghans applied for special immigrant visas. Many of them worked with the U.S. during the war and say they will likely be targeted now that the Taliban has taken control of the country.

The Defense and State Departments confirmed they will accelerate the applicants’ evacuation. Meanwhile, the Dept. of Homeland Security said the agency is working to push visas through the system and get applicants cleared through security.

Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) stated that she would also support the relocation of Afghan refugees to Wisconsin.

“Everyone deserves to live in a secure environment without fear of retribution,” said Agard. “My heart is with the thousands of Afghan families who are being forced to leave their homes in search of safety.”

CNN sources say refugee resettlement agencies started preparing for a large influx of Afghan arrivals.

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