The Editorial Board of The New York Times today published a piece urging Congress to sustain its bipartisan commitment to guarantee Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for U.S. allies in Afghanistan. In recent months, Representative Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, and Representative Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, pushed hard for the extension of the Afghan SIV program. Along with Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat, they succeeded in winning 4,000 additional visas for Afghans who worked with U.S. forces, as well as with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), during the war. But the number of Afghan interpreters currently applying for SIVs is close to 12,000.
Members of Congress from both ends of the political spectrum have thus far collaborated extremely effectively on this issue, demonstrating impressive bipartisan leadership. The White House will soon present to Congress a budget request that is likely to include provisions to allocate more visas for our Afghan allies. This represents an important opportunity for lawmakers to reaffirm the leadership they have shown thus far, and to honor the sacrifices made by thousands in Afghanistan to assist the American mission.
Read the full article here.