FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2022
IRAP Welcomes the Congressional Introduction of the Afghan Adjustment Act
(Washington, D.C.) Today, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Peter Meijer (R-MI), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Jason Crow (D-CO), Fred Upton (R-MI), and Scott Peters (D-CA) announced the introduction of the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would provide a pathway to permanent lawful status for tens of thousands of Afghans who were evacuated to the United States during the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) welcomes and endorses the life-altering pathways to citizenship included in this bill and thanks its sponsors for their leadership.
Sunil Varghese, Policy Director at IRAP, said: “If passed, the Afghan Adjustment Act would provide much-needed legal certainty for tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghans who were temporarily paroled into the U.S. in the wake of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. We implore Congress to pass this essential bill so that our Afghan neighbors who we welcomed into our communities can live without the threat of being sent back to Afghanistan and instead with a pathway to becoming full U.S. citizens.
“Specifically, the proposed legislation would:
- Create a pathway to permanent status for tens of thousands of Afghan parolees who would otherwise have had to apply to the already backlogged asylum system.
- Provide a pathway to permanent status for Afghan nationals who were already in the United States when the Taliban took over and cannot return for fear of violent reprisals.
- Create a new Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for some members of the Afghan military and special forces, including the Women’s Tactical Team.
- Require the administration to be more responsive to Congressional inquiries for information regarding the Afghan SIV program.
- Require the administration to create an interagency task force for Afghan allies.
“While the Afghan Adjustment Act would provide some legal finality to thousands of evacuees, we once again remind the U.S. government of its promise and obligation to provide pathways to safety for the too many vulnerable Afghans left behind.”
Afghan evacuees, veterans, and refugee advocates will hold a press conference on Wednesday, August 10, at 1 pm ET in front of the Supreme Court, at the corner of East Capitol St NE and First St NE.
- Read the full text of the bill: HERE, and a section-by-section: HERE
- Listen to IRAP’s recent press call, alongside representatives from veterans organizations, Afghan communities, and resettlement organizations, reflecting on the one year anniversary of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan: HERE
- Read a blog post about the importance of the Afghan Adjustment Act: HERE
- Read a report by IRAP, InterAction, and Human Rights First about options to make humanitarian pathways viable for at-risk Afghans: HERE
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) develops and enforces a set of legal and human rights for refugees and displaced persons. Mobilizing direct legal aid, litigation, and systemic advocacy, IRAP serves the world’s most persecuted individuals and empowers the next generation of human rights leaders.