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Blumenthal proposes legislation to grant Afghan refugees opportunity for permanent status

And with such urgency, Blumenthal said he’s encouraged that there is bipartisan, bicameral support for this measure.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Approximately 1,000 Afghan refugees have resettled in Connecticut since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan following the United States' withdrawal of troops a year ago.

But, their legal status in the United States could soon be in jeopardy, which is why U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has introduced legislation to address that.

"A bipartisan bill that I am announcing today, the Afghan Adjustment Act, will give them a path to permanent legal status," Blumenthal announced at a press conference at Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven Wednesday.

Roughly 80,000 Afghan refugees have resettled across the United States since August of 2021, and some who have resettled in Connecticut spoke Wednesday of how dangerous it is in their native country now.

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"Any families are unable to stay in one place for more than two or three days," said one refugee. "They must continually move to avoid being discovered by the Taliban."

"They stole my home and took over my country," said one teary-eyed Afghan. "Five years ago they killed my father at about three months ago now they burned my house."

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"If this act passes, we will find a hopeful life...we will think that we will have a better future and also we will bring our families," said an Afghan, who was forced to separate from her family, including her husband a year ago.

"Their life is so in danger," she added. "They are hiding every day. They cannot live like a human. They don’t have rights there."

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And with such urgency, Blumenthal said he’s encouraged that there is bipartisan, bicameral support for this measure.

"I’m hoping that we can move it in the last months of this session of the Senate," he said.

The State Department has told resettlement organizations to expect roughly 5,000 more Afghan refugees nationwide over the next year.

Tony Terzi is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at tterzi@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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