The most recent development in the U.S. House of Representatives is the bipartisan approval of legislation to hasten the processing of visas of Afghan allies. The Afghans covered by the bill are those who helped the U.S. and other coalition forces in the war against the Talibans in thwarting attempts to topple the government of Afghanistan. The votes for the bill were 407-16 and as can be expected, those who voted against the bill are Republican lawmakers.
As the U.S. and other countries who formed the NATO coalition have already withdrawn their respective troops in the war-torn country, Afghan allies and their families are now at greater risk of being targeted for assasination by the Taliban.
A Closer Look at the Allies Act
Captioned as the Allies Act, the bill will greatly increase the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) that will be issued to 8,000 Afghan immigation applicants. The bill aims to lessen the requirements for applying in order to minimize the burden of applying for SIVs, as well as to hasten the processing of documents.
As Talibans are continuously subjugating more territories in the country, thousands of Afghanistan citizens who helped the NATO forces secure their country, are relying on their U.S. visa application as means of staying alive. Voting for the bill proceeded as the coalition forces and U.S are nearing completion of their extraction from the war-torn country.
According to Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colorado), the bill gives particular attention to Afghan allies as the Talibans are determined to execute those who provided assistance to American military forces during the past 20 years. Rep. Crow, who authored the bill presented his proposal last month on the House floor with the support of 24 bipartisan members of Congress. The Democratic Representative of Colorado had also served three tours of duty as a former Army Ranger in both Afghanistan and Iran.
Biden’s White House Administration Providing Support to Facilitate Evacuation of Afghan Allies
The Biden administration is also making efforts to facilitate plans for evacuating SIV applicants out of harm’s way, while awaiting processing and approval of their visa applications.
Furthermore, the country has teamed up with other ally countries in order to acquire safe places overseas for about 4,000 Afghan refugees under the Operation Allies Refuge. A senior state department official mentioned that those who have nearly completed their application, will be evacuated in Fort Lee, Virginia to temporarily stay in a U.S Army garrison for about a week or so.