BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday criticized the way the Biden administration has handled Afghanistan, calling the evacuation an “unmitigated disaster” during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

The governor also reiterated Maryland is open to accepting more Afghan refugees on Special Immigrant Visas, which provide asylum for Afghan and Iraqi nationals who helped U.S. operations as interpreters, security officers, drivers and in other roles.

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“We’ve got to get our Americans out and we’ve got to get those allies out as well,” Hogan told Major Garrett. “And we’re going to do everything we can to help do that.”

Hogan said Maryland has already received some refugees and state officials are set to talk with the State Department on Monday morning about accepting more.

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On Aug. 16, Hogan released a video message announcing the state’s commitment to take more Afghan refugees as the Taliban takes over the country.

“Many of these Afghan citizens—our allies—bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support for many years to our efforts as interpreters and support staff, and we have a moral obligation to help them,” he said. “Maryland receives more of these SIV’s than nearly any other state, and we stand ready and willing to receive more. It is the least we can do.”

On Friday, the Maryland office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations today praised the governor’s commitment. The group is also working with local mosques to collect donations for families arriving in the area.

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“CAIR appreciates Governor Hogan’s commitment to welcoming Afghans arriving to our region especially under the current circumstances,” director Zainab Chaudry said in a statement. “Our communities’ collective support aims to help these families process the ordeals they’ve faced and adjust to their new homes. We’re also concerned about past experiences of xenophobia and intolerance reported against previously resettled families. We hope to help offset some of those challenges.”

CBS Baltimore Staff