By Ellen Fike
Gov. Mark Gordon “has no interest” in accepting Afghan refugees into Wyoming, his spokesman told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday.
Unlike many of his colleagues, Gordon is not volunteering Wyoming as a safe haven for refugees fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban overthrew the government last weekend.
“Our office has not been contacted by any federal or international officials about bringing in Afghan refugees and the governor has no interest in accepting refugees,” spokesman Michael Pearlman said. ” Please note that Wyoming currently does not have a state-administered refugee resettlement program.”
Other Western governors including Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis have written President Joe Biden to let him know they are willing to help refugees in any way.
“I’m deeply saddened by the human tragedy currently unfolding in Afghanistan,” Cox wrote. “I recognize Utah plays no direct role in shaping U.S. diplomatic or military policy, but we have a long history of welcoming refugees from around the world and helping them restart their lives in a new country,” Cox wrote in his letter.
Polis said Colorado stood ready to provide safety and opportunity to Afghan refugees.
“Our veteran community knows the value of the role these Afghans played overseas, and our greater Colorado community shares with you American values of humanitarianism and compassion,” Polis said. “Colorado stands ready. Please advise on how Colorado can assist.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said that she is open to to the idea of accepting refugees who can be vetted, particularly those who served alongside the United States military over the duration of the 20-year war. However, she added she does not have much faith in the Biden administration to accurately review the backgrounds of refugees.