Legislation to increase cap to special immigrant visas for Afghan allies passes House
The bipartisan Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act of 2021 to protect Afghan allies at risk of retaliation for aiding in American operations abroad passed the House this week.
The legislation, which Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) cosponsored, will aid in the Biden administration’s Operation Allies Refuge to evacuate key Afghan partners in the region by streamlining the process and allocating an additional 8,000 visas while maintaining existing security and vetting procedures.
Passage of this legislation follows the Department of Justice’s recent announcement that Fort Lee, located in Rep. McEachin’s district, will receive over 2,500 Afghan interpreters and their families, as American troops continue to withdraw from Afghanistan.
“I voted for the bipartisan ALLIES Act to take action and help our Afghan allies who risked so much to support American military operations in Afghanistan. These courageous men and women aided our troops, and the United States owes them a debt of gratitude,” McEachin said. “I am pleased that thousands of Afghans are currently being relocated to Fort Lee and was proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill to take another step in protecting our partners and their families in the region. This legislation will make critical reforms to our Special Immigrant Visa program to expedite processing and increase the cap on SIVs to ensure Afghans receive the protection they deserve.”
Read McEachin’s full statement on the Fort Lee announcement, the ALLIES Act two-pager, and fact sheet.