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New Haven Organization Welcomes 7 Refugees From Afghanistan

People hold a poster demanding a safe passage out of Afghanistan, during a demonstration in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.
People hold a poster demanding a safe passage out of Afghanistan, during a demonstration in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021.

A New Haven-based refugee resettlement agency welcomed seven arrivals from Afghanistan late Monday night. They fled as the Taliban seized control of the country.

Chris George is with IRIS — Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services. The organization took in a single man from Kandahar and a family of six who left from the Kabul airport just before it closed as the Taliban took the city. Both came over with Special Immigrant Visas because they had worked with the U.S. Government.

“They’re going to be staying with their relatives. That’s the way it often happens here. Refugees from all over the world are coming here in most cases because they have relatives here and their relatives have been happy with the lives they have here in Connecticut and their Connecticut neighbors,” George said.

George said IRIS has brought in about 500 refugees from Afghanistan in the past five years.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut have called on the Biden administration to provide flights out of the country and new forms of entry to the U.S. for refugees still waiting in Afghanistan.

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