The state was expecting 100 refugees, but because more people are ready to leave military bases immediately, it will now welcome 130, plus another group in Brattleboro in December.
About 35 refugees are expected over the next week. They are being resettled in Chittenden County and Montpelier, with more set to arrive in Rutland and Brattleboro in the coming weeks.
Many Afghans already have ties in the U.S. and are likely to go to places where they have family or friends. Vermont’s small Afghan population makes it an unlikely destination.
The State Refugees Office provided new details of a resettlement plan a day after Gov. Phil Scott confirmed that 100 Afghan refugees would be headed for Vermont.
Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s documentary arrives as city leaders move to invite Afghan refugees to resettle in Rutland — a far cry from the events of 2017.
The refugees would be among the first group of 37,000 to be resettled across the United States.
Resettlement divided Rutland five years ago, but a new plan has won support from key players such as Mayor David Allaire, members of the Board of Aldermen and the Chamber of Commerce.
The state is partnering with a national nonprofit to bring Afghan refugees to Vermont.
The nonprofit Ethiopian Community Development Council, which helps people from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, wants to add Brattleboro to its list of more than a dozen U.S. relocation sites.
Despite Biden’s reversal, Gov. Phil Scott’s request to the State Department to “at least triple the number we welcome to the Green Mountain State” still stands.
The governor sees the refugee resettlement program as an essential part of his plan to address Vermont’s demographic challenges and welcome more residents to the state.
“Finally, finally, finally, we are settled,” said Hazar Mansour, whose family recently purchased a Habitat for Humanity home in Rutland.
Weinberger announced the city’s position Wednesday, the same day a federal judge issued an order temporarily blocking the Trump order.
Every Friday, a group of elderly Bhutanese refugees learn how to use technology in a program that aims to help combat loneliness and find connections in the Winooski community.