Gov. Wolf: Pennsylvania Ready to Support Refugees

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FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2021, file photo, provided by the U.S. Marine Corps, families walk towards their flight during ongoing evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan. A school district in a San Diego suburb that is home to a large refugee population says many of its families who had taken summer trips to Afghanistan to see their relatives have gotten stuck there with the chaos following the withdrawal of U.S. troops. (Sgt. Samuel Ruiz/U.S. Marine Corps via AP, File)

HARRISBURG — As Pennsylvania begins to welcome Afghan refugees, Governor Tom Wolf reiterated Pennsylvania’s intention to support refugees and the federal government’s mission in any way possible.

Earlier this week, the administration reached out to the federal government, refugee resettlement organizations, and municipalities, offering assistance and resources to both Afghans fleeing persecution following the fall of the Afghanistan government and Haitians fleeing a crisis following a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

The Wolf Administration offered assistance to ensure that critical resettlement organizations and communities have federal and state resources to welcome and support individuals and families resettling in the commonwealth.

A copy of the letter to President Biden from Governor Wolf is shown above.

“Pennsylvania was founded on the ideals of peace, tolerance, and safety for all people. It is incumbent on us to model the ideals on which Pennsylvania was founded and be a welcoming home for any who seek safe refuge in the United States,” Gov. Wolf said. “Therefore, Pennsylvania stands ready to continue serving as a resource and a safe, welcoming home for those who seek refuge in the United States. We are pleased to join in the Biden Administration’s efforts to safely relocate and resettle individuals and families fleeing humanitarian crises.” 

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) works with the federal government and local refugee resettlement agencies that operate in communities to connect refugees resettled by the federal government in Pennsylvania with benefit programs and supportive services.  

A copy of the letter from the Department of Human Services to refugee resettlement organizations is shown above.

DHS helps provide stability and access to high quality employment, medical and mental health screenings, support services, and case management that help new Pennsylvanians as they acclimate to their new home and community for up to 60 months post-arrival. 

“I am incredibly grateful to our refugee resettlement organizations whose ongoing vital work ensure that individuals and families are not only welcome but have access to important resources to help them thrive,” Gov. Wolf said. “As we continue to collaborate with the federal government, my administration offers support to organizations and communities, and asks community leaders for flexibility and understanding.” 

A copy of the letter from the Department of Human Services to municipalities is shown above.

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