Press release: May 10, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 10, 2022
“We Need to Help All Our Allies”: #AfghanEvac Issues Statement on Ukraine Aid Deal
Washington, D.C. – Last night, a deal was struck in Congress for the Ukraine supplemental aid bill which did not include the Afghan Adjustment Act, despite bipartisan support from many lawmakers as well as the White House.
The Afghan Adjustment Act will provide a path for Afghan arrivals to apply for lawful permanent resident status. It would apply to Afghans who arrived here as a result of the military evacuation last August.
Shawn VanDiver, president and founder of international nonprofit #AfghanEvac, issued the following statement:
“We need to help all of America’s allies, and unfortunately this agreement comes up short. Our allies in Ukraine need our help now, just like our allies from Afghanistan have needed our help since the fall of Kabul last year.
“We will continue to push for the eventual approval of the Afghan Adjustment Act, but there is no glossing over that this is a major setback for the Afghans that we are trying to help. There is no overstating the harm this is having on these Afghan families and all the people volunteering to support them. There is no hiding the trauma this will cause U.S. active duty military and veterans who served alongside Afghan friends who are increasingly being forgotten. There is no doubt that this abdication of America’s responsibility to its wartime partners sends a concerning message to our current and future allies that creates long-term national security risks for our nation’s interests.
“The Afghans this act will help are people our government brought here, people our nation owes a debt of gratitude to, people who without this law are going to be pushed to the fringes of American society with difficulties accessing jobs, medical treatment, housing, and more. Delaying the bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act helps no one while actively hurting our nation.
“We are extremely thankful our Ukrainian friends will be receiving support, and urge congress to do the same for Afghans by passing the Afghan Adjustment Act as soon as possible.”
The act will enable newly arrived Afghans to go through the immigration process, undergo all necessary security reviews, and have a path forward to lawful permanent residency here in the United States. Those who apply under this bill would undergo a robust vetting process.
The law would mirror efforts made by the U.S. government for Vietnamese and South Asian refugees following the fall of Saigon.
The more than 180 organizations that make up the #AfghanEvac coalition have long been advocating for this legislative fix which will provide new Afghan community members with the stability they need to resettle and thrive in their new lives here. The coalition’s members and organizations, including hundreds of veterans and frontline civilians, will continue to work in the coming days and weeks to propel this effort forward.
For twenty years, Afghan allies worked and fought side-by-side with U.S. and allied forces through the longest war in American history. The #AfghanEvac coalition is committed to ensuring that their service, partnership, and commitment to American ideals is rewarded.