Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom published a short commentary on TheHill.com earlier today, in which she argued that Americans have a moral responsibility to bring our Afghan allies to safety. The piece, which also called on members of Congress to make the issue more prominent in light of the ongoing crises in the Middle East, requests both the American people and their governmental representatives to ensure the passage of legislation that would increase the number of Special Immigrant Visas allotted to Afghans – set to run out this month.
The bill that has been proposed should by no means lead to partisanship or polarization. Its sponsors, John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen, come from separate parties and regions but still support it in entirety, thus all but ensuring the proposal’s success when it is voted upon. The issue, however, is that the bill may not reach the floor in time for Afghan SIV applicants. If it is not passed and enacted in the very near future, thousands of our allies and their families will be stuck in their home country, their lives at risk. We at IRAP will continue to pressure Congress to proceed with this legislation, and urge readers to do the same.