Afghan Refugees Arrive in New Mexico

Holloman Air Force Base is one of seven U.S. military bases housing Afghan refugees.


As the US works to get the many stranded Afghans from the war-torn country, New Mexico has opened its borders to provide a place where the Afghan refugees can receive sanctuary. On September 2, 2021, an airplane landed at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico. When the doors opened, over 600 fearful, uneasy Afghan refugees poured out––realizing they had reached American soil. Despite the generous intentions of various political leaders, Gov. Lujan Grisham and Mayor Tim Keller, many Alamorgodo locals expressed their concern for the safety of themselves, their country, and the community. One Alamogordo resident, Merardo Montreal, was especially vocal. He stated, “I mean our country is in shambles, and I think it’s time that we need to take care of our country first.” Despite the public outcry, Holloman Air Force Base has prepared for the influx of Afghan refugees––ready to accommodate and house up to 50,000 refugees. Also, many questioned why New Mexico? Citizens of Alamogordo were confused why Holloman Airbase was selected to house Afghans where Afghan communities do not hold prevalence. In the end, that question remained unanswered, though there is a community of Afghan refugees already based in New Mexico.