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The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) has joined with other local chamber’s around Michigan in backing Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s offer of state assistance to resettle men, women, and children fleeing the crisis in Afghanistan.

In a letter to the Governor, the business group called the offer to assist Afghan refugees “a moral obligation,” stating, “For a century and a half, Michigan has established a rich legacy as a welcoming, chosen home for individuals from all over the world seeking freedom and economic opportunity. We recognize our state as well positioned to welcome these individuals and support them as they venture through immigration processes and a new, unknown home nation.

“We are all watching the crisis in Afghanistan unfold before our eyes, and it tears at our hearts,” said Tim Daman, president & CEO, LRCC. “We have always been a state and region that opens our arms to people from around the world in times of dire need. This is one of those moments.”

In a statement earlier this year on the contributions of immigrants in the region, the LRCC noted that communities, where immigrants live, are among the most vibrant in the state, including Lansing.

“Attracting more immigrants and welcoming refugees to our region is an essential component of our economic and workforce development efforts and is key to becoming the world-class region we all desire,” said Daman. “We would be proud to welcome Afghan refugees to our community.”