“I’ll be the first to go to the Airport and welcome them”: Afghan refugees ready to welcome Ukrainians to Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Gov. Dan McKee sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday, saying that the Ocean State would welcome Ukrainian refugees.

“Like many Rhode Islanders, I am shocked and saddened to witness the devastation and invasion taking place in Ukraine,” said McKee.

The announcement comes just months after the state welcomed hundreds of Afghan refugees after their country was taken over by the Taliban.

One of the first Afghan refugees to arrive in Rhode Island was Amin Faqiry.

He told ABC6 that the situation in Ukraine reminds him of he went through months ago.

“The same thing happened in my country. When the Taliban takeover started my people went to the airport to get out of the country and get to safety and to a safe shelter,” Faqiry said.

The governor said that he welcomes any Ukrainians that have been forced to flee for their lives.

It remains unclear as to when or if anyone from Ukraine will cross seas to The Ocean State.If Ukrainian refugees do arrive, Faqiry said he’ll be the first to welcome them and help feel them at home.“I’m looking forward to it, if they were to come to Rhode Island I’ll be the first to go to the airport and welcome them. I’ll have a lot of advice for them and make them feel at home here in Rhode Island.”

McKee also requested that the State House continue to be lit in blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, for the remainder of the week.

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