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Published on August 25, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) — Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston, TX), president of the African American Mayors Association, issued the following statement in response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
“For decades, thousands of Afghan people put their lives on the line to combat the brutality of the Taliban and support humanitarian work in Afghanistan. Now that the Taliban have taken over, all of these heroes -- from translators to technical staff to transportation specialists -- are at risk of violent retaliation from the Taliban. And people across the country, particularly women, are in danger of losing fundamental rights. We owe it to these people to offer refuge in the United States.
“Unfortunately, it is a painful reality that many in our country believe that welcoming refugees is dangerous. Allow me to assuage those fears: Every person who enters this country as a refugee undergoes an incredibly extensive vetting process to ensure they support our country and will help it thrive. There is no question that the people who enter deserve to be here, and will strengthen local communities.
“So many Afghan people put their lives at risk to support our country. And so many more will suffer immensely under the oppressive rule of the Taliban. We cannot leave them behind. Doing so would be the ultimate abdication of our humanitarian obligations.
“As such, we will work with governors and the White House to ensure that our nation welcomes as many refugees as possible. It’s our duty.”