STATEMENT: House of Representatives Passes ALLIES Act of 2021 | LIRS

STATEMENT: House of Representatives Passes ALLIES Act of 2021

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House of Representatives Passes the ALLIES Act to Increase Visa Cap for Afghan Interpreters and Streamline the Visa Process

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2021
Contact: Timothy Young | tyoung@lirs.org | 443-257-6310
 
Washington D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed by a vote of 407-16 the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act, or Allies Act of 2021 – bipartisan legislation introduced by Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) to increase the visa cap for Afghan interpreters and other partners, and to expedite the visa process.
 
Among its provisions, the bill increases the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) allotment by an additional 8,000 visas, amends the credible threat requirement and removes additional paperwork to establish a credible threat, clarifies eligibility for Afghans who worked for Non-Government Organizations under cooperative agreements and grants with the U.S. government, streamlines duplicative procedures, and allows family members of deceased primary SIV applicants to continue through the process if the primary SIV applicant dies before visa approval.
 
The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – a leading refugee resettlement agency that has welcomed and supported 11,000 Afghan and Iraqi SIV recipients since 2009:
 
This is a bipartisan victory of which we can all be proud as Americans. The passage of this legislation is a recognition that this critical moment calls for boldness – not bureaucracy.
 
The ALLIES Act is an important step forward in living our core values and upholding the sacred military maxim to leave no one behind. We are grateful to Representative Jason Crow for his leadership in protecting our Afghan allies and their families.
 
As the Taliban gains power and territory, time is quickly running out for the courageous individuals who risked everything to faithfully serve our mission. It is vital that the Senate quickly advance legislation to protect our allies and our nation’s reputation. Our great hope is that this broad demonstration of support will also encourage the administration to step up its efforts to evacuate all allies in desperate need of safety.”
 
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