Georgia, South Carolina govs open to taking in Afghanistan refugees

State - Regional

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Republican governors of Georgia and South Carolina both appear to be open to taking in refugees from Afghanistan who helped the U.S. war effort.

When asked Tuesday if he would join other governors who have vowed to welcome refugees, Gov. Henry McMaster said, “it is our duty.”

“The thing to remember there is that those people that you’re referring to helped protect Americans,” the South Carolina governor told a reporter. “Now they’re in severe danger.”

“They helped us,” he added, “we need to help them.”

McMaster penned a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking for information on South Carolinians who may still be in Afghanistan and the Biden administration’s plans to evacuate them safely.

Gov. Brian Kemp criticized President Joe Biden’s handling of the “debacle” in Afghanistan, saying the situation “is getting worse by the day.”

“These Americans must be brought home immediately,” he tweeted.

In a statement to WSAV, Kemp’s office suggested it is critical to keep safe the refugees who aided the U.S. A spokesperson added the administration would insist on thorough vetting, required by federal law.

Joe Biden’s failure to protect American citizens and our allies in Afghanistan is a stain on our nation. His administration’s lack of preparation and disastrous evacuation is now putting countless lives in serious danger from the Taliban. It is vitally important to keep those who partnered with American armed forces over the last 20 years safe from harm. Joe Biden has broken his word to the nation, the Afghans, and the world, but we as Americans cannot break our word to those who lent aid to us in our mission to defend freedom and bring justice to those who attacked our country on September 11, 2001.

Office of Gov. Brian Kemp

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters at a Pentagon press conference on Wednesday the U.S. is working to get as many people through the evacuation process and out of the country as quickly as possible, but “we’re not close to where we want to be.”

The Pentagon says about 5,000 civilians have been taken out of Afghanistan so far, but officials have said they want to get to a goal of getting a maximum of 5,000 to 9,000 people out a day.

Contributions by The Associated Press

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