LOCAL NEWS

Gov. Cox reaffirms Utah’s commitment to Afghan refugees

Aug 25, 2021, 7:24 PM | Updated: Aug 26, 2021, 11:57 am

SALT LAKE CITY — With a humanitarian crisis unraveling in Afghanistan, many Utahns are stepping up to help. Today Gov. Spencer Cox reaffirmed his commitment to resettle refugees.

The governor said his office has been busy with calls from people wanting to help, It’s why Cox said the decision to offer Utah as a safe haven was simple.

With increasing chaos around the airport in Kabul and violence at the hands of the Taliban, including images of a man alleging he was beaten by the Taliban as he tried to enter the airport, Cox reaffirmed his commitment to welcome and resettle Afghan refugees in Utah.

“It was a really easy decision as we were watching what was happening a world away in Afghanistan. Like most Americans we were very troubled by what we were seeing and hearing and reading about the people who had sacrificed so much for our soldiers,” Cox said. “Republicans, Democrats and independents in the state — everyone in the state that I’ve talked to — has thanked us. Legislators, mayors, county commissioners … citizens have all said we believe in this.”

Many of the 88,000 evacuees are flying to military bases in Qatar, Germany and Bahrain and will eventually be redirected to bases in Virginia, Texas and Wisconsin.

“The White House has reached out and said that they want to have a conversation with governors later this week and so we’re hopeful we’ll get more details then,” Cox said of the response to his letter to President Biden accepting Afghan refugees in Utah.

Being one of the first states to publicly open its doors to refugees, Cox said he’s heard from other governors also expressing interest in accepting refugees.

“I believe most states will be welcoming, this has become a rare bipartisan issue,” Cox said, “I suspect we will get much closer to 50 (states) by the time the dust settles.”

Cox added he disagrees with the White House’s strategy in leaving Afghanistan.

“I’m very disappointed in the way it has been handled,”  Cox said, “When the good guys don’t stand up, the bad guys are ready to step in.”

But he said he’s proud of Utah’s heritage and willingness to embrace those in need.

“We can’t change what’s happening over there but we can do the right thing … and try to fix it and make it better,” Cox said.

Cox’s office is working with Utah’s resettlement agencies, like the International Rescue Committee and Catholic Community Services.

Catholic Community Services said it already has two cases they’re preparing for, including a family of eight. However, they don’t have an official date of arrival yet.

Catholic Community Services said it have received plenty of volunteer applications and donations. However, the group is in need of monetary donations.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

3 vacant house fires spark in one week in SLC’s Ballpark neighborhood

Community frustrated after three fires broke out at the same row of vacant homes in Salt Lake City's Ballpark neighborhood in just the past week.
1 day ago
...
Shara Park

Memorial set up for woman killed in Provo hit and run

Yellow ribbons lined a Holladay neighborhood Friday in support of a family who lost a loved one in a hit and run crash in Provo.
1 day ago
FILE...
Michael Locklear

With so many kids sick, some Utah pharmacies run out of liquid Tylenol, ibuprofen

As parents deal with sick children, some are also facing another challenge. Some common medications can be hard to find, including liquid Tylenol and ibuprofen.
1 day ago
...
Mike Anderson

Hardware WMA sleigh rides return after two-year hiatus

For the first time in two years, sleigh rides up the Blacksmith Fork Canyon are back — where families can see herds of elk and get a winter meal.
1 day ago
Shop small to support local businesses...
Tamara Vaifanua

How shopping small this holiday season makes a big impact at local stores

There’s a big push this holiday season to shop small, as in small business. The locally owned, Tutoring Toy, right off Foothill Boulevard in Salt Lake City, has a lot to offer.
1 day ago
FILE: Attorney General of Utah Sean Reyes arrives onstage to pre-record his address to the Republic...
Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Qatar paid for Utah AG Sean Reyes’ trip to see U.S. World Cup match

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Qatar, after the Middle Eastern country's government paid for his airfare, lodging and tickets to see the United States and England
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Gov. Cox reaffirms Utah’s commitment to Afghan refugees