California and Texas will host the largest number of Afghan refugees from participating U.S. states, The Associated Press reported.
The Biden administration began contacting governors on Wednesday about how many Afghan evacuees from the first group of about 37,000 people will be admitted to their states, according to the AP. California will employ the highest number of people in 5,255 people evacuated, and Texas will take 4,481, according to State Department data from the Afghan Placement and Assistance program shared with the PA.
States that host a larger number of Afghan evacuees, such as California, Texas, Maryland and Virginia, have resettled more Afghans in the last 20 years than most other states and are doing so again according to State Department data, the AP notes. This could be due in part to the fact that the evacuees were able to apply in which states they wanted to be resettled and many chose to go where they already had close friends or family, the AP reported.
Hawaii, Wyoming, South Dakota, West Virginia and the District of Columbia do not expect to resettle any of the evacuees from the first group, the AP noted.
The State Department resettled refugees based on the advice of local branches of nine national resettlement agencies with which the government is collaborating, the PA reported.
The news follows some hiccups in the U.S. effort to evacuate the remaining refugees from Afghanistan. Last week, flights carrying Afghan refugees were temporarily halted after four cases of measles were confirmed among Afghans arriving in the United States.
In addition, Afghan refugees are expected to receive $ 1,225 from the U.S. government to help them with expenses, but are currently unable to receive food stamps, Medicaid, and other traditional refugee services, according to the PA.
The Biden administration has asked Congress for funding to bring some 65,000 Afghans to the United States by the end of September, as well as another 30,000 that may come sometime next year.