Murphy to Biden: N.J. ready to welcome Afghan refugees

Governor tells president: ‘N.J. will be better for having them’

Gov. Phil Murphy, referencing New Jersey’s history for being a melting pot for immigrants, told President Joe Biden that the state is eager and ready to accept Afghan refugees — and encouraged Biden to expand the Special Immigrant Visa program.

“As the events in Afghanistan continue to unfold, and the United States military works to evacuate refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders, I am writing to let you know that the state of New Jersey stands ready to welcome our Afghan allies,” Murphy wrote. “These brave individuals and families — many of whom have worked to assist our military or put their own lives on the line in support of human rights and American initiatives — must not be left behind.”

Murphy said it’s the American thing to do.

“Many have already shared the view that providing safe harbor and support is an expression of our values,” he said. “I would add that accepting these refugees honors the sacrifice made by veterans of the War in Afghanistan — too many of whom died working toward the same goal sought by these refugees: stability and peace.”

Murphy said he feels Afghan refugees will help the state.

“We also know that the Afghans we welcome to New Jersey, like so many refugee populations before them, will make enormous contributions to our state’s culture, community and economy,” he said. “New Jersey will be better for having them.

“Therefore, we warmly welcome Afghan refugees to our state and urge the Biden administration to speed and expand the Special Immigrant Visa program.”