#AfghanEvac Facts

What is It?

  • The #AfghanEvac coalition, representing more than 180 self-activated organizations (private, non-profit, all-volunteer, and more), focuses on helping get those in need out of Afghanistan. Our website contains names and logos for the organizations in the coalition who have opted in to public sharing of their involvement.
  • The coalition is working alongside US government partners at U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, National Security Council, the White House, Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Homeland Security and this robust partnership is resulting in clearer lines of communication, reduced “noise” in the system, rumor control, and better outcomes for Afghans seeking help
  • The spirit of partnership is alive and well. We welcome the unprecedented steps the Biden Administration has taken by leaning in to ensure that the valuable information and capacity brought by these groups is being leveraged and understood
  • Despite the close partnership with US government agencies and leaders, the #AfghanEvac coalition acts as an accountability mechanism for government leaders. 
  • We endeavor, as a coalition, to relocate as many Afghans at-risk due to their USG affiliation as possible across as many categories as possible, recognizing the legal and policy constraints in this still evolving situation.
  • We want to tell the world that the folks coming out of Afghanistan are welcome in our neighborhoods, we want them here, and cannot wait to see them in our communities. Our coalition is fundamentally American, representing the full spectrum of political ideology, religion, geography that makes our nation great.
  • We should recognize how special and different this model is, and that this is probably not the last time we will see it. Capturing information on how this all came together, what worked and what did not, and scalability for the future would be helpful as all parties look toward the future

Our Asks

This is the original list from late 2021. An updated list can be found on our Recommendations page

For the Biden administration:

  • The Executive branch should, no later than February 2022, appoint an interagency leader with tasking authority, oversight responsibility, and a dedicated staff to develop and implement a multi-year, actionable plan for evacuating our Afghan allies, including qualified P1/P2 referrals, and bringing them to safety. This whole-of-government approach should also:
    • Be formally established and appropriately staffed as to ensure long-term program success;
    • Include diplomatic engagement with our allies to ensure that Afghan populations made vulnerable through their association with the United States and the values we espouse, including at-risk populations such as women, religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities, military and national security professionals, and civil servants, have a defined and safe pathway to restart their lives in the US or one of our partner nations; and
    • Leverage all tools available to the American government to assist our Afghan allies with their successful integration into American society
  • The Department of State should authorize virtual visa interviews and medical waivers, and, after appropriate resourcing from Congress, provide qualified surge support for the prompt processing of pre- and post-COM approval Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), P1/P2, and other referral, parole, and visa applicant categories.
  • The Department of State should also negotiate with countries to establish and maintain multiple “lily pad” locations to retain agility during this long-term evacuation process.
  • The Department of Defense should similarly maintain life support “lily pads” in multiple countries for processing evacuees from Afghanistan and preparing them for onward movement to the US.
  • The Department of Defense should halt any plans to close existing safe havens; instead, existing safe havens should be expanded with wraparound services throughout the US in areas best suited for the resettlement of our Afghan allies. 
  • The Department of Homeland Security should waive all humanitarian parole fees and expedite the processing of visa applications and parole requests for Afghan allies. 
  • The Department of Homeland Security should also ensure that those evacuated through private charter flights have a legal pathway to resettlement in the US, including by expanding staffing overseas to streamline the facilitation of the humanitarian parole program either overseas or through ports-of-entry.
  • The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) should restore funding for Afghans in need of support and deploy trained protection advisors to serve as senior advisors to mission commanders for each step of the evacuation journey.
  • The Department of State and USAID should engage with humanitarian agencies, including the International Organization for Migration and the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), to provide humanitarian support for those referred under the P1 or P2 programs and others who remain at-risk due to their association with the US. 
  • The Departments of State, Defense, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services should work together to establish ongoing mental health support services for evacuated Afghans and American volunteers and public servants involved in the withdrawal, to include dedicated programming with easy and continual availability. HHS should be designated the lead agency for this effort. 

For Congress

  • Pass the Afghan Adjustment Act to guarantee that all evacuees are able to access the US immigration system with a full pathway to citizenship.
  • Adequately fund the State Department and all associated US government agencies to meet this moment.
  • Integrate specific language into the SIV eligibility criteria that includes Afghan Special Operations Forces (graduates of ASOSE courses) and the family of those otherwise eligible. 
  • Ensure the apportionment of funds that prioritize the evaluation of the mental health and moral injury impact on those Veterans, frontline civilians, and others who participated in the Afghan conflict or subsequent evacuation efforts and that provide viable solutions for their long-term care.
  • Authorize a fund for the State Department, via USAID, to administer a program dedicated to funding private and non-profit humanitarian efforts providing support such as food, water, safe housing, and transportation of evacuees. Efforts funded through this program should be prohibited from earning a profit and only cover reasonable, allocable, and allowable costs related to services and related supplies.
  • Remove the cap on SIV admissions.

We unite under a shared set of commitments

  • Groups in our coalition share with appropriate government partners the data we’ve gathered pertaining to people on the ground in Afghanistan in need of assistance.
  • Groups in our coalition endeavor to be trusted partners. We will always act ethically and within the bounds of the law.
  • Groups in our coalition do not use inappropriately, or cause the appearance thereof, US government equipment or assets.
  • Groups in our coalition do not share the inner workings of our meetings with the press.
  • Groups in our coalition do not send people outside of Afghanistan without a legal, informed plan in mind for their ultimate disposition.

What we won’t share

  • Specifics of discussions occurring in meetings

  • The specifics of “how” we are helping Afghans on the ground

  • Names of people involved

  • Any other information related to safety and security of Afghans on the ground or in transit