News Release: Catholic Conference Welcomes House Resolution in Support of Welcoming Afghan Refugees to Michigan

A happy Muslim family poses for a portrait on the sofa

October 5, 2021

(Lansing, Mich.) — The state of Michigan and its elected officials have a moral obligation to support the authorized admittance of refugees fleeing violence in Afghanistan, according to a Resolution that was discussed in the House Military, Veterans, and Homeland Security Committee today. Michigan Catholic Conference offered the following comments after this afternoon’s hearing in support of House Resolution 160, sponsored by Representative Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham):

“Refugees, immigrants, and asylees, together with the current Afghan evacuees, flee their homeland in search of safety and religious freedom, values known worldwide to be present and at the very heart and soul of the United States of America,” said David Maluchnik, Vice President for Communications. “Whether refugees are fleeing violence and chaos in Afghanistan or in Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, or another country that seeks to terrorize and mitigate the freedom of its citizens, our great state and nation shine as a beacon of hope, security, and a cradle of compassion and respect for the dignity of all persons.

“Catholic Charities agencies in this state and across the country have risen to the challenge to receive Afghans, as welcoming the immigrant and upholding and amplifying their dignity as persons is a principle of the Catholic faith and Catholic social teaching. It is common practice for Catholic Charities to be present at the airport, to welcome families and transport them to a furnished home. Thereafter the parents are offered English-language lessons, job training, assistance with paperwork, medical care, and schooling and clothing for their children. Michigan Catholic Conference is grateful to Representative Manoogian for sponsoring House Resolution 160.”

A Resolution is a testament to the position of the body through which it is offered and represents a statement of belief and support for a situation, cause, or person. Resolutions are not binding on the people of the state, meaning they do not have the force of law like a statute passed by one legislative chamber or another. The text of House Resolution 160 follows:

A resolution to welcome Afghan refugees to the state of Michigan.

Whereas, The unfolding tragedy in Afghanistan has created a humanitarian crisis. Tens of thousands of Afghans have already been evacuated from the country, and many more continue to flee the violence and repression of Taliban control; and

Whereas, Michigan's elected leaders have a moral obligation to support the authorized admittance of Afghan refugees to our state. Thousands of Afghans put their lives on the line to support American servicemembers, including 70,000 Michiganders, in their fight against the Taliban. We must now honor our commitment to them; and

Whereas, Michigan's elected leaders and various human services organizations have committed to providing the necessary support for Afghans who come to our state. This support will be critical in ensuring these refugees and our state are put in the best position to succeed; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we welcome Afghan refugees to the state of Michigan.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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