KRM has received many questions from the community: How can I help Haitians after the earthquake they’ve experienced? How can I help Afghans as they flee the Taliban takeover? These questions show us: Kentuckians believe in humanitarian responses to crisis, and Kentuckians want to help.
KRM awaits news about resettlement efforts and disaster relief. Much of our work is on the receiving end once families are ready to be resettled. We thank you for your desire to reach out and give relief to those seeking safety.
We are awaiting news about three Afghan families coming to Louisville; one family may arrive as soon as Monday, August 23. We have been welcoming and serving Afghans through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, which resettles individuals who require protection due to their work or interpretation with the U.S. government or military in Afghanistan. KRM has welcomed 140 Afghans to Louisville and Lexington since 2016.
Additionally, KRM’s immigration legal services team has been meeting with people with family in Afghanistan who are trying to evacuate. We ask that no one come to KRM’s offices to see an attorney without an appointment. Please call or email the office to make an appointment; contact information for the immigration legal services team is available here.
Thank you to Khadija Shojae for sharing some of her story with media. Khadija is originally from Afghanistan and has worked with KRM as an interpereter, helping many families start new lives in Kentucky. You can see these media stories here: WHAS11, WLKY, and WAVE.
Recently, Nadia Nadim, with Racing Louisville FC, shared some of her story and reflections about her life in Afghanistan. The Women’s Cup and philanthropic partners generously donated funds to UN Women, Catholic Charities, and KRM for ongoing work with refugees. The full Courier-Journal story has Nadia’s comments and reflections.
On Sunday, August 22, Democratic state legislators held a press conference outside KRM’s Louisville office to call on Governor Beshear and the legislature to resettle Afghan refugees. You can read more about the letter sent to Governor Beshear in these media pieces: Courier-Journal, WFPL, WAVE, WHAS, and WDRB.
Thank you to Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey and House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins for leading this effort.
KRM has not received news about Haitians ready for resettlement in Kentucky in response to the recent earthquake. In previous years, we have served a small number of Haitian refugees. The KRM national resettlement office, Church World Service (CWS), has released information about their relief response to the earthquake in Haiti.
Haitians have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the United States, which was extended earlier this year. After the earthquake, advocates have been calling on the administration to extend TPS further and to end deportations of Haitians. Anyone from Haiti seeking legal guidance can schedule with KRM’s immigration legal services team.
Arrivals of New Families: Refugees and Cuban Asylum-Seekers
Throughout the pandemic, refugees continue to need resettlement and welcome. As of the end of July, Kentucky ranked fourth in the country for refugee arrivals this fiscal year. California, Texas, and New York are the top three.
Both offices remain busy with newly-arrived families, long-term integration support, and immigration legal services. Louisville has welcomed 92 refugees, 18 asylees, 6 SIVs (Special Immigrant Visa holders), and 230 secondary migrants (refugees who move to Kentucky from another state). In addition to this, KRM Louisville has also welcomed 499 Cubans, most of whom are applying for asylum. In August alone, KRM projects enrolling 100 new Cubans. Lexington has welcomed 95 refugees, 30 secondary migrants, and 5 Cubans.
The new fiscal year begins October 1, with an anticipated refugee admissions goal for the US of 125,000 refugees.
There are many ways to partner with KRM to welcome families: rent an apartment or home to a family, volunteer to set up an apartment, volunteer at the monthly food pantry, donate funds to support this work, and more. We love making Kentucky home for refugees, and we hope you can join us.