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Dozens of Afghan refugees headed for Alaska resettlement

September 13, 2021 GMT

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Dozens of Afghan refugees will be resettled in Alaska over the next six months, a resettlement organization said Monday.

Between 50 to 100 refugees will come to Alaska starting in September, Catholic Social Services Refugee Assistance and Immigration Services said in a statement. Resettlement will continue through March.

Catholic Social Services Alaska CEO Lisa Aquino told The Associated Press it’s not known when the first refugees would arrive in Alaska, but they were ready for them when it does happen.

The refugees were described as being in vulnerable populations, such as children, women and the elderly. Many worked for the U.S. government or the military in Afghanistan in positions like translators.

Thousands of Afghanis were evacuated after American forces left Afghanistan last month. They were first sent to military bases in the Lower 48 for screening and preparing to be sent to destinations around the U.S.

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The refugees, including individuals and families, will work with program staff in several areas like employment and English-language skills after arriving in Anchorage. Aquino said it wasn’t known how many would settle in other parts of the state, but it’s expected a majority would remain in Anchorage.