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Families Fleeing Afghanistan Will Settle In Montana

At least three families fleeing from Afghanistan as the U.S. pulls troops out of the country are expected to land in western Montana.

The International Rescue Committee is helping the families resettle in Montana. Eamon Fahey, the organization’s deputy director for programs, says the families are coming from trauma and are excited to be in a safe place.

“They are very excited and I’m sure, in many ways, overwhelmed to be here.”

Fahey says the families are coming to the U.S. with a Special Immigrant Visa, granted to Afghanistan citizens who helped American forces during conflict in their country.

Fahey says an active service member who worked with the families contacted his organization about six weeks ago looking to help. He says the service member feared for their lives.

During a news conference on Tuesday, a reporter asked Gov. Greg Gianforte if he planned to open the state to people from Afghanistan. Gianforte says the priority right now should be getting American citizens and allies safely out of the country.

“It’s then going to be a decision for local communities to decide how we relocate those people. I think we have an obligation there.”

Gianforte called the situation there appalling and said President Joe Biden could not have handled it more poorly.

Freddy Monares was a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio.
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