ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – Holloman Air Force Base will begin taking in Afghan refugees according to the Department of Defense on Friday, and the citizens in Alamogordo are preparing for this. Many are welcoming of the refugees coming but there is still a concern for national security.
As soon as the official news broke Friday morning, it is all anyone is talking about in Alamogordo. “I think it’s a good thing that they are bringing these people in or wherever anyone is willing to help out,” said local Darius Ward.
Other residents are also just as welcoming of the refugees coming to Holloman AFB.
“I think they’ve got to go somewhere, and this place is as good as any. I know that a lot of people in town are going to be averse to accepting refugees but, in my opinion, I think that is ok,” said Gerardo Monreal, an Alamogordo resident.
The big concern though is security as many residents want to be sure every safety precaution is taken before any of the refugees arrive.
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“I think we are going to stay wary on who’s coming to where in the United States. It hits home for us because if they’re coming close to my home, I don’t know who exactly they’re bringing close to my home and what they’re capable of,” Ward said.
Other community members, who did not want to be on camera, were not as welcoming and said they shouldn’t be sent here, that only the troops should be coming home.
“I mean our country is in shambles and I think it’s time that we need to take care of our country first,” Monreal says on the other side of it. “In many ways, we need to stop being the police for other affairs in the world and let the world take care of itself we need to take care of our own country.”
However, in Alamogordo, some residents want to remind everyone that many of these refugees helped our troops and would be killed if they were not evacuated.
“I’d just like to remind everybody out there that we are all human we are all the same race and I would hope that, god forbid, if anything were to happen to us here at home, you know that another country would be willing to take us in,” Ward said.
KRQE News 13 reached out to numerous local leaders, including the county manager to get his response to the refugees being housed at Holloman AFB but did not hear back.