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‘It is our moral duty’: Mayor Harris commits Shelby County to help Afghan refugees

Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 9:31 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 10:52 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris says Shelby County is ready to welcome Afghan allies and parolees who are evacuating the country in wake of the Taliban’s return to power.

Harris wrote a letter to President Joe Biden reaffirming the commitment. The letter reads, in part:

“As our country welcomes refugees from Afghanistan, I am writing to let you know the government of Shelby County. Tennessee stands ready to provide support and stability to those fleeing violence and oppression. I believe we have a moral duty to help those in dire circumstances who supported our troops. I want to applaud your administration’s efforts to meet this duty.”

World Relief Memphis along with Harris and Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland are set to share how the community can prepare to receive these refugees. World Relief Memphis says there is a need for a community-wide effort to help ease their integration into American society.

Harris says the county plans to work with organizations like World Relief Memphis to find housing, jobs and other necessities for refugees in need.

It is unclear how many refugees will be arriving in Shelby County in the coming weeks but World Relief Memphis says there’s expected to be “hundreds.”

We will stream the news conference live on our website at 11 a.m. and this story will be updated.

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