COLORADO— Colorado Governor Jared Polis is extending a helping hand to the Biden administration saying Colorado stands ready to provide safety to Afghan refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders.
Polis wrote a letter to Biden on Wednesday pledging Colorado’s support while asking the President to consider additional immigration paths that will save the lives of Afghans who cooperated with American forces.
“We are incredibly grateful Colorado continues to be a welcoming place where immigrant and refugees and SIV recipients can rebuild their lives and can contribute to our economy culture and the fabric of our state,” said Victoria Francis, State Advocacy Officer with the International Rescue Committee.
The letter comes as several nonprofits across the Rocky Mountain are preparing to provide aid to refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services of the Rocky Mountains is one of several agencies who will be part of the resettlement process.
It’s still unclear how many people will resettle in the Rocky Mountains, but the majority of people coming to Colorado Springs will be Special Immigrant Visa holders.
“Some of these folks have connections with military personnel in Colorado and I’ve seen assurances come to the Colorado Springs office,” said Jaime Koehler Blanchard, Community Programs Supervisor at Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains.
The agency will be helping people find employment, legal services, housing and provide other services. Colorado is seeing a shortage in housing and the agency is exploring different options including community members opening up their own homes to support the cause.
According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, from October 2020 to June 2021 the majority of internationals coming to Colorado were from Afghanistan.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services is running a fundraiser to help with evacuation efforts, to donate click on this link.