The House and Senate reintroduced bipartisan legislation that ensures Afghans who were brought to safety in the U.S. may apply for lasting protection
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 14, 2023
Contact: Tim Young | email@example.com
Washington, D.C. – With the two-year mark of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan approaching, a bipartisan group of lawmakers today reintroduced the Afghan Adjustment Act in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
Originally introduced in August 2022, the Afghan Adjustment Act would provide a direct path to lawful permanent residency for Afghan nationals who entered the United States during Operation Allies Welcome, which brought over 75,000 evacuees to safety. Currently, the vast majority of Afghan evacuees are in the U.S. on humanitarian parole, which provides only short-term protection and no direct path to lawful permanent residence. While some have applied to remain in the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa program or asylum, less than ten percent have been approved thus far.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) reintroduced the legislation in the Senate, while Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) and Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-2), reintroduced it in the House of Representatives. Between the two chambers, the bill boasts 34 co-sponsors.
The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service – a national refugee resettlement agency that has assisted approximately 14,000 Afghans since the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan:
“The Afghan Adjustment Act is more than a bill – it’s a beacon of hope for tens of thousands of Afghans uncertain about their future here. We urge Congress to heed the broad, bipartisan coalition of veterans, refugee advocates, faith communities, and everyday Americans calling for swift passage of this long-overdue legislation. Our nation’s moral obligations to Afghan allies did not end when the last plane took off from Kabul; it is how we act now that will define our legacy for generations to come.”
“We are deeply grateful that congressional leaders are committed to a lasting bipartisan solution amid the current patchwork of temporary protections, many of which are incredibly complex for Afghans to navigate on their own. Every day, our case managers continue to field questions from evacuees concerned about their prospects for remaining in the U.S., underscoring both the tremendous anxiety they face and the need for Congress to promptly pass this legislation.”
“Two decades of allyship merits much more than an unnecessary and unsustainable legal limbo. The Afghan Adjustment Act is precisely how we provide the stability our new Afghan neighbors deserve while demonstrating that the United States honors its promises of protection to its allies.”
Read the press release from the congressional sponsors here.
About Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service:
Founded in 1939, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is the largest faith-based national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable immigrant communities in the United States. Through more than 80 years of service and advocacy, LIRS has helped over 500,000 migrants and refugees rebuild their lives in America.