Gov. Cox provides an update on Afghan arrivals to kick off “Afghan Day on the Hill”

Today Gov. Spencer J. Cox kicked off “Afghan Day on the Hill ” by announcing that nearly all of the 900 Afghans assigned to Utah for resettlement have arrived. He called on Utahns to help secure long-term housing for the final 220 individuals which would require 50 units.

“We recognize the housing challenges being felt throughout the state,” said Gov. Cox. “We also know that having a safe and secure place to live is a critical need for Afghans building a new life in Utah. Our goal is to have everyone housed by the end of March.”

With the initial phase of resettlement complete, efforts will shift towards phase two, which includes education, training and employment. Utah’s resettlement agencies and the state’s Refugee Services Office are collaborating to ensure families have what they need for children to be successful, including homework help and mentors. Some of the $1 million raised through the Utah Afghan Community Fund has already helped purchase laptops and cellphones for new families. 

“The Afghans now in Utah were critical allies to the U.S. government in Afghanistan and they bring a host of talents, abilities and life experience to our labor force,” said Gov. Cox. “They arrived in Utah with permission to work and we are helping them secure good jobs. They will be a wonderful addition in filling much needed vacancies in the state.”

Several bills working their way through the legislature will help support Afghan arrivals including H.B. 163, which would provide access to translation so Afghans can obtain their driver’s license, a tool that can impact their options for employment and general transportation. Gov. Cox commended legislators for their willingness to take on issues impacting not only Afghan arrivals but also refugees coming to the state.

Initial estimates for Afghan arrivals increased to just over 900 due to case size fluctuation (the number of people arriving in a group), people with connections to Utah choosing to resettle here and walk-ins who make their way to Utah on their own. Gov. Cox urged anyone with housing availability to send a message to [email protected]

Learn more about needs and opportunities for support at:

Utah Refugee Services Office

Catholic Community Services of Utah 

International Rescue Committee