Afghan Evacuees Begin To Arrive In Massachusetts


The first Afghan family of evacuees arrives in Massachusetts on Friday, seen here with members of RIAC. Photo: Courtesy of the Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center Boston

WORCESTER, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — An Afghan family of five fleeing Taliban rule is set to land in Massachusetts on Sunday night — the second family to land in the state in the last three days.

According to State Department data obtained by the Associated Press, the state will host 900 Afghans.

“Massachusetts is pleased to welcome the first family of Afghan evacuees to the Commonwealth and looks forward to working with the federal government and local nonprofits who serve these populations as additional evacuees arrive in the coming weeks and months," the Governor’s office said in a statement to WBZ-TV.

WBZ’s Suzanne Sausville spoke with Meg Gallo from the Refugee and Immigrant Assistant Center (RIAC) who said the new arrivals depend on “cultural brokers” who speak Dari and Pashto.

“Volunteers and staff who are also from Afghanistan are key partners in helping with the communication, and helping new families understand things they’ll be going through," she said.

Gallo said that the organization is getting ready to move the refugees out of hotels and into apartments, likely in Worcester. The families don't have legal refugee status, so they do not qualify for as many resources as they would if they were officially refugees.

Gallo said that RIAC is collecting donations of things like furniture, school supplies, and clothing to help the incoming evacuees.

WBZ's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports:

Written by Jay Willett

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