ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Governor Brian Kemp responded to the suicide bombings and withdrawal efforts in Afghanistan, as organizations in Atlanta support refugee evacuation efforts.
Kemp spoke on the tragedy after touring the Lockheed Martin facility in Marietta on Thursday. “We’ll just ask all Georgians to keep everyone over there, including those that have been involved in this recent tragedy, in your thoughts and prayers,” Kemp said. He added, “We need to take care of those that have supported our troops. They don’t need to be allowed to be hunted down by a bunch of Taliban terrorists over in Afghanistan, nor do their families.” President Joe Biden set a deadline of August 31 to remove the thousands of troops, U.S. citizens and allies. “We need to get United States citizens out of Afghanistan immediately, no matter how long it takes. We shouldn’t have a deadline to do that,” said Kemp.READ MORE: Wet Weekend Ahead: Two Inches Of Rain Expected As Nicholas Hovers Over The Gulf Region
Two deadly suicide bombings killed dozens of people, including at least 13 U.S. servicemembers. Kemp also commented on efforts to evacuate Afghan allies and those who have supported U.S. troops. “We owe it to those individuals to protect them. Whether we bring them here or not, I think is beside the point. I think they need to be vetted,” he said, also clarifying his stance on resettling refugees. “That’s a whole different argument that we would have to learn more about from the administration: where they’re gonna put people, what the plan is, what the vetting process is.”
Nonprofits like International Rescue Committee say the U.S. has an extensive vetting process already in place through a refugee resettlement program. “Our mission is to prepare to welcome and then support refugees from around the world as they come to rebuild their lives in our communities,” said IRC Executive Director Justin Howell. News of the tragedy hit home for IRC and many other refugee organizations. “We deplore violence that creates these kinds of situations. Our hearts are with those families today that are impacted by this violence,” Howell said.
The Refugee Women’s Network in Atlanta issued this statement:READ MORE: Ceremony Held At Atlanta School Renamed For Herman J. Russell
We have have been providing services to refugee and immigrant families, including Afghan families who have resettled here for last few years by providing social adjustment services, entrepreneurship development programs, health and wellness programs.
Having Afghan staff who speak their local language has helped us build very good relationships, especially with Afghan families. Therefore, such tragedy in Afghanistan hits close to our families here. They have families trying to leave Afghanistan now. We are praying and consoling the families here and providing them with much needed support. There are few families who have arrived in Atlanta that were evacuated in early August. We are in close contact with them.
In the coming days, we will be scaling up our social adjustment and information referral programs for the newly-arrived families. In addition to that, we will be partnering with GAIN (GA Asylum and Immigration Network) and AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association) to provide interpretation and much needed essential services.MORE NEWS: Detectives Are Investigating A Homicide
Both the network and IRC say they’re ready to welcome more Afghans as evacuation efforts continue.