Afghan Refugees Are On Their Way To Tucson

Afghan Refugees Are On Their Way To Tucson

Sierra Blaser, Reporter

The city of Tucson is currently awaiting the arrival of Afghan refugees who will be here within the next few weeks. Up to 500 refugees are expected to be settled in Tucson, according to Ward 6 City Council Member Steve Kozachik.

“We are anticipating somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 Afghan refugees being placed in Arizona,” said Kozachik in his weekly newsletter. “It’s unclear how they’ll be distributed around the state. Tucson will likely receive 300-500 people.”

Refugees will land at a military base in Phoenix. After processing and security checks, many will be transported to a base in southern Arizona. They will then be given a one time payment of $1,225 in federal aid from the Afghan Placement and Assistance Program. “That’s not per month. That’s not per person. That’s a flat fee. That’s not going very far when you’re talking about food, clothing, shelter, transportation and all the other stuff you need to live,” said the council member.

Kozachik is making it known that he is aware of the housing crisis in Tucson and wants to assure civilians that they are not looking to buy up single-family homes. “What we’re looking for is host families, next of kin places where they can go and feel welcomed.”

Supporters of the refugees, including many Arizona representatives, are speaking out on the importance of donating items to the displaced people. They are requesting culturally-appropriate clothing, non-perishable foods, toys, and other necessities that could help. If you or anyone you know want to donate, the drop-off point is the Ward 6 office, located at 3202 E. 1st Street. The best time to bring items is Monday-Friday 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. Those who want to help with language translations can email [email protected] for more information on the process.

“I know Tucson will step towards these refugees, just as we’ve seen over the past several years with those we housed and helped through the Benedictine and now out at Casa Alitas Welcome Center,” said Kozachik.

Nationally, 65,000 refugees are expected to arrive in the US.