Momentum grows for provisions to allow Afghans who sought refuge in the United States to apply for permanent legal residency after undergoing additional vetting.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) announced the introduction of their bipartisan amendment to provide a path to permanency for Afghans who supported the United States’ mission in Afghanistan after undergoing additional vetting.
The amendment is cosponsored by Senators Wicker (R-MS), Coons (D-DE), Cassidy (R-LA), Blumenthal (D-CT), Mullin (R-OK), Shaheen (D-NH), Tillis (R-NC), King (I-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), Crapo (R-ID), Graham (R-SC), Rounds (R-SD), and Capito (R-WV).
“As we work to pass legislation supporting our allies across the world, we cannot forget the Afghans who stood with us and our military,” said Klobuchar. “We have growing support for our effort to provide our Afghan allies more legal certainty as they seek refuge in the United States. That is why I am introducing this bipartisan amendment to the security package. We must get this done.”
“After the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, veterans extended the creed “leave no man behind” and helped their Afghan partners flee to the United States for safety,” said Moran. “Unfortunately, many of our Afghan partners are still overseas, and those who made it to the U.S. face uncertainty as to whether they will be granted permanent residency. I urge my colleagues to support the inclusion of the Afghan Adjustment Act in the National Security supplemental to grant Afghan refugees stability, bolster our national security and send a message to U.S. partners and allies that we will honor our word.”
“As we debate a bill that will determine whether we stand by our partners and allies in the year ahead, we cannot forget about our partners and allies who stood by us for 20 years of war. Now is the time for the Senate to stand beside the Afghan allies and their families who bravely supported our servicemembers by passing the Afghan Adjustment Act. I’m proud to support this bipartisan amendment, and I hope the Senate will swiftly do the right thing and pass it,” said Coons.
The amendment is based on the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act, which would allow Afghan allies to apply for permanent legal residency to provide certainty as they build their lives in the United States after undergoing thorough vetting. Currently, Afghans who were admitted on temporary humanitarian status can only gain permanent legal status through the asylum system or Special Immigrant Visa process (SIV), which face severe backlogs and long processing times.
This amendment is supported by a broad coalition including The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, With Honor Action, No One Left Behind, the Chamber of Commerce, and many others.