As Afghan Crisis Worsens, Celebrities and World Leaders Make a Strong Plea: We Need to Welcome Refugees

As horror unfolds in Afghanistan and the world watches as at-risk Afghans fleeing for their lives in the wake of the U.S. military withdrawal, one thing is clear: the United States has a moral obligation to welcome people seeking safety.

Celebrities, world leaders, members of Congress, artists, authors, and more have joined the call that we need to welcome refugees.

Poet Amanda Gorman: 

“As Afghanistan suffers, America has to take a long look at how we’ve perpetuated horror & how we can provide healing. We must welcome refugees & at last become the country we say we are. Today is the day to take in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) August 17, 2021

Best-selling Afghan Author Khaled Hosseeini:

“The United States has a moral obligation. Admit as many Afghan refugees as possible.”

Khaled Hosseini (@khaledhosseini) August 16, 2021

Author and refugee Viet Thanh Nguyen:

“The majority of Americans did not want to accept Southeast Asian refugees in 1975. Guess what? They were wrong.

Millions of Southeast Asian Americans have contributed in ways great and small to the US. Afghans have done so and will do so.@JoeBiden

Viet Thanh Nguyen (@viet_t_nguyen) August 16, 2021

Afghan Women’s Rights Activist Malala Yousafzai: 

“I think every country has a role and responsibility right now.”

Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in 2012, tells BBC “countries need to open their borders to Afghan refugees”

BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 16, 2021

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres: 

“As the world is following events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart, I urge all countries to be willing to receive Afghan refugees & refrain from deportations.

Afghans have known generations of war & hardship. They deserve our full support.

Now is the time for solidarity.”

António Guterres (@antonioguterres) August 16, 2021

U.S. Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders:

“Foreign policy matters: After 20 years of U.S. effort, the loss of 2,448 soldiers and a trillion spent, Afghanistan was left with a corrupt government and an ineffectual military. At this moment, we must do everything we can to evacuate our allies and open our doors to refugees.”

Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) August 15, 2021

U.S. Representative from New Jersey Andy Kim:

“This photo of 600+ Afghans squeezed into a C-17 is so powerful; take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. No luggage. May never see their home country again. They risk it all for freedom. Let America be a nation that welcomes them. Feeds them. Clothes them.” THREAD

Andy Kim (@AndyKimNJ) August 17, 2021

U.S. Representative from Massachusetts Ayanna Pressley:

“What we are watching unfold in Afghanistan is gut wrenching.

As always we need to center the people.

The U.S. should do everything in our power to safely evacuate advocates, refugees, and journalists alongside U.S. personnel and allies. Each person in harms way matters deeply.”

Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) August 16, 2021

U.S. Representative from Missouri Cori Bush:

“Our work is to save lives.

Whether it’s Afghanistan, Haiti, Lebanon, or communities facing extreme hardship worldwide—one thing we could do to save lives RIGHT NOW is become a country that welcomes more refugees with open arms.

Refugees must be welcome here.”

Cori Bush (@CoriBush) August 15, 2021

U.S. Representative from New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

“We have a moral obligation to the Afghan people. The U.S. role in this crisis is indisputable. We must waste no time or expense in helping refugees safely & swiftly leave Afghanistan. We must immediately welcome them to the U.S. & provide real support as they rebuild their lives.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) August 16, 2021

U.S. Representative from Minnesota and refugee Ilhan Omar: 

Thread on how you can help resettled Afghan refugees.

(I personally would not be where I am today without the lifesaving work of @LIRSorg)

Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 16, 2021

U.S. Representative from New York Jamaal Bowen:

“Afghanistan is the most recent example of American interventionism gone wrong.

We must ensure that the Afghan people are given refuge. In doing so, we should reassess the humanity and viability of the White House’s limit on refugee arrivals — and exceed that limit if necessary.”

Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) August 16, 2021

U.S. Representative from Texas Joaquin Castro:

“Right now, the United States’ mission is to safely evacuate all U.S. citizens and help our Afghan allies who helped us over the past 20 years as well as evacuate as many vulnerable people as possible, particularly women and girls.

We need to expediate evacuations immediately.”

Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) August 16, 2021

Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox:

“Utah stands ready to welcome refugees from Afghanistan, especially those who valiantly helped our troops over the past 20 years.”

Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) August 16, 2021

Majority Leader of Suffolk County Legislature Jon Cooper:

“The U.S. and our allies must work quickly to evacuate as many vulnerable people out of Afghanistan as possible — even if their visa paperwork isn’t completed. After the refugees have reached safety, the remaining paperwork details — and any security concerns — can be addressed.”

Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) August 16, 2021

Boston Mayoral Candidate Michelle Wu: 

“Boston has a long history of offering safety & being a home to people in crisis around the world. Let’s lead the nation in responding to global crises by welcoming Afghan refugees & Haitian migrants displaced by the earthquake.”

Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@wutrain) August 16, 2021

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey:

“Refugees are welcome here. Massachusetts is made better by our resilient refugee communities, including many from Afghanistan and Haiti. Massachusetts stands with you and your families.”

Maura Healey (@MassAGO) August 17, 2021

Colorado Governor Jared Polis:

“Colorado stands ready to provide safety and opportunity to Afghan refugees.

Today I sent this letter to @POTUS letting him know that our state is willing and able to do whatever we need to do to help Afghans who played a vital role in assisting the U.S. military overseas.”

Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) August 18, 2021

Refugees International is calling on the Biden administration to rescue and resettle a significant number of Afghans at risk. Learn more about what must be done to immediately aid Afghans seeking safety


Here’s What You Can Do

Call on your state and local elected officials to ask President Biden to increase the refugee admissions ceiling for the next fiscal year so that we can resettle more people seeking safety. 

Tweet to @POTUS to share this article asking him to welcome refugees, including Afghans at grave risk. 

PHOTO CAPTION: Aerial shot of Kabul. “Kabul Hills” by Eddysparadiese is licensed under CC BY 2.0