FILE - CT Ned Lamont 12-18-2019

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (left) answers questions from reporters Dec. 18, 2019, following a meeting of the State Bond Commission at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn.

(The Center Square) – Officials in Connecticut say they are expecting to house several hundred Afghanistan refugees in the coming weeks.

Gov. Ned Lamont said in a news release the refugees will be “fully vetted” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and have all necessary vaccinations, including for COVID-19.

“[M]y administration was informed by the White House that our state will soon be asked to house as many as 310 Afghan refugees for resettlement in Connecticut,” Lamont said. “I welcome these individuals with open arms into our wonderful state.”

Lamont said he had ordered the state's Department of Social Services to coordinate with other state, federal and local entities to ensure all the necessary resources are in place to support the refugees with necessities such as food, shelter and job training.

“These evacuees are our allies and have supported our country for years, and it is our turn to return the favor,” Lamont said. “Connecticut has a legacy of being there for those in need, and we are proud to answer the call.”

The Associated Press reported that each refugee will be provided a stipend of $1,225 for rent, furniture, food, and pocket money. Afghan refugees are not eligible for food stamps, cash assistance, Medicaid or traditional services funded through the Department of Health and Human Services.

State Sen. Christine Cohen, D-Guilford, said in a tweet she was “proud” the state “is welcoming 310 Afghan refugees.”

The state has also joined Welcome.US, a bipartisan organization committed to helping Afghan refugees resettle.

Associate Editor

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky.