BUFFALO, N.Y. — Under new guidance from the State Department, 1,143 Afghan Refugees could be resettling in New York State over the next six months, with a majority of them coming to Western New York.
Gov. Kathy Hochul said Thursday afternoon that 335 Afghan refugees will be coming to Buffalo, which is about a third of the total amount who are coming to the state.
That came on the same day local agencies that will help them spoke about the start of "Welcoming Week," a national initiative that celebrates communities that take in immigrants and refugees.
They say the refugees who end up here will benefit the community.
"These are our sisters and brothers from another part of the country who are fleeing a terribly desperate situation, and we are called as the support agencies to reach out to help them," according to Steve Schumer, the CEO of Catholic Charities.
Schumer says the addition of more refugees to Buffalo's already diverse and growing community is positive thing.
"These are folks who are very hard-working, very grateful to be coming to a place of better safety and better opportunity, and they engage in our community and make it better," Schumer says. "We are called as support agencies to reach out to help them, it's a moral imperative."
Those refugees should be arriving over the next six months.
Among the groups at Thursday's announcement in Buffalo were Catholic Charities of Buffalo, the International Institute of Buffalo, Jewish Family Services of Western New York, Journey's End Refugee Services, and Jericho Road Community Health Center.
New York State Assemblymember Jonathan Rivera and State Senator Sean Ryan were also in attendance.
Albany, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse and Utica are also anticipating the arrival of several hundred Afghan refugees.