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Councilman asks Watertown to welcome Afghan refugees

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WATERTOWN — Councilman Ryan Henry-Wilkinson believes that the city should open its arms and welcome Afghan refugees looking to flee their country.

Councilman Henry-Wilkinson has asked Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith to approach former Watertown Mayor Joseph M. Butler Jr., Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for New York at Fort Drum, and other Fort Drum leaders to see what they can do to help thousands of Afghans who are trying to get out of the country amid America’s evacuation efforts from the Kabul airport.

He brought up the issue at last Monday’s council meeting on the same day that thousands of Afghans stormed the airport. Since Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of about 37,000 people. The U.S. military says it has the capacity to fly between 5,000 and 9,000 people out per day.

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