Michigan groups prepare for refugees from Afghanistan

Niraj Warikoo - Detroit Free Press

As the U.S. continues to evacuate Americans and allies from Afghanistan, local resettlement agencies are preparing for refugees to arrive in Michigan.

Officials with two Michigan-based groups  that help refugees, Samaritas and Bethany Christian Services, told the Free Press on Friday that they are expecting refugees to arrive, but that they do not know how many or when.

"We are deeply saddened and concerned about what is happening in Afghanistan," said Mihaela Mitrofan, director at Samaritas, which is headquartered in Troy. "We are committed to be part of this lifesaving work, and we are ready to serve the refugees."

Mitrofan said her office has been receiving calls from Afghan families in Michigan who want to help and are worried about loved ones in their native land after it was taken over this month by the Taliban. Michigan has about 700 residents with roots in Afghanistan, a small number compared with other groups in the region, according to 2019 census data.

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