The first family of refugees from chaotic Afghanistan has arrived in Windsor and more are expected, The Windsor Star reports.
“These are people that have helped Canadian service men and women over there for the past 20 years,” Windsor Councillor (councilman) Fred Francis tells the publication. “We want to get them out because we want to make sure nothing bad happens to them and their families.”
Francis, who is also director of Programs and Development for the Multicultural Council of Windsor and Essex County, says:
“There’s about 800 or so, last time I heard, in Toronto that just finished their quarantine process. I’m assuming that number will probably grow in the next week or so, considering the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and the Canadian government trying to get more people out. We’re prepared to accept more people through the multicultural council here in Windsor.”
Fahim Bai, who escaped Afghanistan in 2004, is helping the refugees settle in Windsor.
“It’s like hell and heaven,” he tells the Windsor Star. “Canada opening the door for the Afghan families, to welcome them, to give them a new life, it’s like being in heaven. You have the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of race and culture. You can freely go to school. Women and girls can work. All of this is a huge opportunity and it’s like heaven.”
CBS News reports that the U.S. government was housing nearly 20,000 Afghan refugees at military installations in five states as of Wednesday morning, while another 40,000 evacuees remained at bases overseas awaiting processing.