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75 Afghan Refugees Are Resettling In Montana

Montana is slated to welcome 75 Afghan refugees, and reactions from the state’s elected officials are varying about the news.

Gov. Greg Gianforte issued a news release Thursday saying the Department of State announced the International Rescue Committee would work to resettle the refugees in the western part of the state.

The group is part of about 50,000 Afghans fleeing from their country after the U.S. withdrew troops there and the Taliban invaded the city of Kabul, according to the Associated Press.

Gianforte scrutinized President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal, but says the state welcomes fully vetted Afghan allies who have worked alongside the U.S. military.

A spokesperson for Republican Sen. Steve Daines said he supports those who helped in the 20-year conflict and believes in a full vetting process for refugees entering the country.

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester said if the people coming to the state are fully vetted, the U.S. has an obligation to help them. However, he said, a local community should have final say on the decision.

Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale said he strongly opposes resettling Afghan refugees in Montana and has doubts about the vetting process.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Freddy Monares
Freddy Monares is a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio. He previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, covered the 2017 Legislature for UM Legislative News Service and interned with the station as a student. He graduated from the University of Montana School of Journalism in 2017.