'We're a state of refuge': Gov. Newsom welcomes Afghan refugees to California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- As thousands of people rush to flee Afghanistan, California Governor Gavin Newsom says they are welcome here.

The governor addressed the situation Monday at a "Vote No" on the recall rally in Northern California.

"We're a state of refuge," said Newsom.

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"I'm proud of the fact over the last decade California has taken in more refugees than any other state in America, and I'm proud of the fact a disproportionate number of Afghani refugees are here in Northern California, not just here in the south, but also up in Sacramento County. We're already working in terms of a lot of those refugees coming in and working with CBOs and non-profit organizations to make sure that they feel welcome and celebrated as members of our community," he said.

Representative Zoe Lofgren also addressed the need to welcome those have fled.

"The governor is right, we have always stepped forward to welcome new Americans into our country and we're stronger for it," said Lofgren.

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Crowds of Afghan civilians, desperate to escape the Taliban, were seen rushing a departing U.S. military plane, making frantic attempts to scramble onto the aircraft and even clinging onto the aircraft.



UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres told the Council all countries must be open to accepting Afghan refugees.

"We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan," said Gutterres.

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