Massachusetts’ governor weighs $20 mn in aid to Afghanistan, Haiti refugees

Immigrant advocates in Massachusetts are cheering the inclusion of $20 million in aid to Afghan refugees and Haitian migrants in a broader, $4 billion spending plan from state lawmakers.
The bill, which was approved last week and is currently awaiting Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s signature, sets aside $12 million for Afghan refugees and another $8 million for Haitian migrants.
Jeffrey Thielman, president and CEO of the International Institute of New England, one of the state’s major refugee resettlement nonprofits, said Friday the bill, if approved, would make Massachusetts one of the few if only states to commit state money to support the latest wave of immigrants from both troubled countries.
Massachusetts really stands out, he said, noting that Oregon lawmakers have proposed allocating $18 million to help resettle some 1,200 Afghan refugees.
New York has also committed $5 million to help nearly 1,800 Afghans resettle in the state, and California’s governor and legislative