Since 2009, the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program has given Afghans who aided US troops in Afghanistan an avenue to seek refuge in the United States. The program has provided life-saving access to visas for Afghans who face violence, intimidation, and death in their home country because of their collaboration with the US military. However, the program does not have enough visas to accommodate the thousands of Afghan allies and their families who are seeking refuge from oppression.
In March, a bipartisan team of Senators and Representatives introduced the Keeping Our Promises to Our Afghan Allies Act, a bill that would expand the SIV program to add 2,500 additional visas. Despite our Afghan collaborators’ dire need for escape, the House and Senate versions of the bill remain in committee. Read more here.
1. Call your MoCs as well as the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and ask them to move this bill along. More information (including numbers for Judiciary Committees) and a script here.
2. Read this story of one Afghan family who recently made it to the US under the SIV program. They were detained at LAX for several days following arrival, then released on parole, pending interviews with immigration officials. Six days ago, they were granted permanent residency. They don’t want to make their identities public, but you can send them a welcoming message and a note of gratitude for making America keep her promises at a time when it sometimes seems we are defaulting on all commitments at home and abroad:
New Permanent Resident Family of Five
c/o Mark Rosenbaum, Director Opportunity Under Law
610 South Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90005