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Newsom Requests $16.7 Million to Resettle Afghan Refugees

'As the nation's most diverse state, we don't simply tolerate diversity, we celebrate it...'

(Headline USA) California‘s governor and legislative leaders on Friday requested $16.7 million in state money to help resettle Afghan refugees in the state.

The request to use general fund money to help those fleeing the Taliban takeover signals “that California stands ready to assist those in need,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “As the nation’s most diverse state, we don’t simply tolerate diversity, we celebrate it.”

The funding request by Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was expected to be considered during next week’s legislative session.

With support from leaders of both houses, the request is unlikely to face serious opposition in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

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The money would provide cash assistance and other help for Afghans who don’t qualify for certain federal refugee benefits and public assistance programs because they don’t hold special visas but are being admitted into the United States on humanitarian grounds, Newsom said.

Some arriving refugees are potentially eligible for Medi-Cal and state-funded aid but only those arriving with children are eligible for CalWORKs, the state-funded public assistance program.

Newsom is proposing to temporarily expand the Trafficking and Crime Victim Assistance Program to cover those aid gaps, he said.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press.

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