Maryland Joins Welcome.US Coalition in Support of Afghan Allies
|“Many of these Afghan citizens—our allies—bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support for many years to our efforts as interpreters and support staff, and we have a moral obligation to help them.”|
|—Governor Larry Hogan (Aug. 16, 2021)|
As one of the top states in the nation for accepting special immigrant visas (SIVs), Maryland is proud to join Welcome.US, a new national effort built across sectors, political parties, and all walks of life to empower Americans to welcome and support the resettlement of Afghan allies in the United States.
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 point of entry 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 as they start new lives in the United States.
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.