As many as 1,143 Afghan evacuees coming to NYS, up to 335 expected in Buffalo

Posted at 3:59 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-16 16:02:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Department of State's Afghan Placement and Assistance Program has informed New York State that many as 1,143 Afghan evacuees could be resettled in communities throughout the state over the next six months with up to 335 expected in Buffalo.

Thursday, Governor Kathy Hochul welcomed those who will be resettling in the state and pledged to offer them assistance.

New York has a storied history of welcoming those seeking a safe haven from violence and persecution -a proud tradition our state continues today by helping evacuees from Afghanistan rebuild. The heart-wrenching images and stories of people fleeing their homeland were a call to action that New York State is more than willing to answer. We welcome our new Afghan friends with open arms and pledge to provide them the assistance they can rely on to rebuild anew.
- Gov. Hochul

They are expected to be placed in their new communities between now and March 31 and include up to:

  • 100 in Albany
  • 335 in Buffalo
  • 240 in the New York City area
  • 200 in Rochester
  • 248 in Syracuse
  • 20 in Utica

Those who arrive in the state will be assisted by the Bureau of Refugee Services, which is located within the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Many of us cannot fathom the fear and hardships endured by the Afghans now arriving in our state. Our role now is to welcome them into our communities, help them to rebuild their lives, and to embrace them as our neighbors. We look forward to them becoming part of the rich cultural tapestry that is New York State.
- OTDA Commissioner Mike Hein

The governor's office said those who are arriving were approved for admission at the discretion of the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for urgent humanitarian reasons and are separate from refugees and those admitted on Special Immigrant Visas.

Local organizations are looking to raise $750,000 to support the Afghan evacuees coming to Buffalo, you can find more information and what you can do to help here.