LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- After months since their arrival in the United States, the resettlement process will soon begin for the Afghan refugees.
Evacuees who have been temporarily staying in military bases throughout the country will be relocating in this region as early as next week.
Pastor George Miller from El Calvario United Methodist Church in Las Cruces has been assisting in the resettlement process and said 100 Afghans will be settling in southern New Mexico and 50 in El Paso.
The big task that is still ongoing is finding housing for the refugees.
“We are working with anybody who has a place. We are finding relative good success now. The problem is we can’t hold houses, but some people want to rent them so we hold what we can. Hopefully it’ll be a process where people come through little by little. We will make sure everybody has a place to stay,” Miller told ABC-7 on Friday.
Additionally, Miller said he has been working with local landlords and realtors to find available homes to house them.
Miller said he is also working to create a welcoming committee
“Well, someone has to greet these people when they come off those bases, where they are staying and they have been living in little villages,” he said. “You can offer donations, but you can offer to serve on the welcoming committee.”
The pastor is also collaborating with Las Cruces Public Schools to make it all happen.
“The schools know how to do that- how to integrate the students and prepare them to make sure that they have the resources they need, technology, they have a team already in place,” Miller explained.
In order to help with the language barrier, LCPS is in the process of hiring tutors. The school district will also be providing English as a second language classes for parents in their native languages including Farsi and Arabic.
LCPS will also be working to get the school-aged children enrolled to school as soon as possible.
The evacuees could begin resettling as early as next week, although Miller said that they will have until February to move away from the military bases.
Those who are interested in donating or becoming a part of the welcoming committee can reach out to El Calvario United Methodist Church.