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Colorado resettlement agencies expect 1,000 to 2,000 Afghan refugees

Some have already arrived. Others could be here by next month.

COLORADO, USA — Colorado resettlement groups are expecting 1,000 to 2,000 Afghan refugees to resettle in the state after the Taliban took over their country.

Right now, the refugees are staying at eight U.S. military bases across the country. They are getting their COVID-19 vaccinations and have to stay on base for 21 days after that. 

A handful of evacuees have already arrived. Aid agencies expect most of the refugees will start arriving by mid-October. 

Last week, the White House projected 865 Afghans were going to resettle in Colorado. But state organizations are expecting between 1,000 and 2,000 people based on previous resettlement patterns.

They said 90% are coming to the Denver area, while about 10% will head to Colorado Springs. 

"This has been a real place of welcome, specifically for Afghans," Meg Sagaria-Barritt with Colorado Refugee Service said. "In the last five years, this has been the greatest newcomer population through the refugee program here to Colorado. So, one of the things that feels really true for us is that we've welcomed Afghans, we've worked with Afghans, and Afghans themselves are committed to making Colorado a home."

Most of the Afghans will be on humanitarian parole, a two-year authorized status that allows them time to apply for asylum and find a path to citizenship. 

Since 1980, Colorado has settled more than 60,000 refugees.

RELATED: Denver on State Department list of best cities for Afghan refugees to resettle

RELATED: 'The Afghan in us never leaves' | Family who fled Afghanistan in the 80s helps welcome refugees


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