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Local agencies say KC area could welcome 625 Afghan refugees

September 11, 2021 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Resettlement agencies in the Kansas City area have told the federal government that they have the capacity to welcome 625 refugees from Afghanistan.

Three organizations designated by the U.S. State Department as resettlement agencies submitted the figure in a proposal to the agency in late August, The Kansas City Star reports. The agencies are Della Lamb Community Center, Jewish Vocational Services and Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.

But Della Lamb Executive Director Ryan Hudnall said the figure is subject to change depending on who chooses to come to Kansas and who has existing relationships in the area.

Catholic Charities has agreed to receive 85 Afghan refugees, but spokesperson Carol Cowdrey said the number is likely to grow. It already has settled three families.

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President Joe Biden in May raised the overall cap on refugees from the historic low set by former President Donald Trump’s administration to 62,500. Biden said his goal was to boost the cap to 125,000 starting in October.

Hudnall said the situation is further complicated by the fact that agencies may receive as little as 24 hours’ notice to receive someone evaculated from Afghanistan.