Washington, D.C.—CWS today celebrated the introduction of the Afghan Adjustment Act, bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would allow Afghans who fled the Taliban and were relocated to the United States to apply to become lawful permanent residents. The bill would provide tens of thousands of relocated Afghan men, women, and children with the support to navigate complex legal issues to find lasting protection as our newest neighbors. Importantly, it would also strengthen congressional oversight over the Afghan relocation and resettlement effort and the U.S. resettlement and Afghan SIV programs. The Afghan Adjustment Act was introduced today in the House of Representatives by 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). A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by 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). CWS calls for the swift passage of the legislation in September so Afghans have a permanent path forward as they build lives in safety in the United States.
“The Afghan Adjustment Act is a real solution to a real problem faced by many of our neighbors and allies. Relocated Afghans deserve a future that is not in question, one that includes raising their children in safety, free from the threat of the Taliban. The fact that the bill is supported by both Republicans and Democrats demonstrates that it is a necessary, and moral, extension of America’s spirit of welcome,” said Meredith Owen, Director of Policy and Advocacy at CWS. “After the fall of Kabul, thousands of Americans reacted by asking how they could support Afghans in danger. Many of those whom we have welcomed served alongside the U.S. mission in Afghanistan; because of their service they and their families are at risk. Today’s bill, if passed, would be a fulfillment of America’s promise to the persecuted, and an investment in our nation’s capacity to welcome.”
CWS also notes that countless vulnerable Afghans will still be left behind, under risk of violence and persecution. The Biden administration has a moral obligation to establish safe pathways out of Afghanistan, a process to equitably and efficiently welcome Afghans, who are still in Afghanistan or in other host countries, to the United States including through a designated parole program, and to expand and expedite access to life-saving refugee and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) protections.
Since the fall of Kabul, CWS has worked with Evacuate our Allies, a coalition of veteran, human rights, and advocacy organizations calling for permanent solutions to the plight of resettled Afghans.
For more information or to speak with Owen, contact email@example.com.