Sending Office: Honorable Earl Blumenauer
Sent By:
Jon.Bosworth@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague:

Please join us as a cosponsor of H.R. 2796, the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2019. This legislation would authorize 4,000 new Special Immigrant Visas and require the State Department to report to Congress on the obstacles to protecting
Iraqi and Afghan allies and suggestions for improving the program.

Since 2002, the United States Government has employed thousands of Afghan and Iraqi allies to serve alongside U.S. troops, diplomats, and other government employees. As a result of their service, these allies and their families have become the targets of
anti-American persecution and violence. As U.S. Government agencies and personnel continue to rely on local partners to ensure critical mission capabilities, Afghan and Iraqi partners continue to be threatened, abducted, or assassinated for their willingness
to assist the United States.  

With broad bipartisan support, Congress created two Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) programs to provide pathways to safety for Iraqis and Afghans whose work with and allegiance to the U.S. Government has exposed them to direct threats, jeopardizing their safety
and that of their loved ones. Although the Iraqi SIV program stopped accepting new applications in 2014, the Afghan SIV program continues protecting Afghan allies to this day. In recent years, the SIV applicant backlog has continued to grow while Congress
has struggled to allot enough visas to bring our allies to safety in the United States. While the recent Fiscal Year 2019 omnibus spending bill authorized 3,500 SIVs,
the backlog remains at nearly 20,000 Afghans. Worse, the processing times for existing applications has slowed dramatically, forcing many to wait for years while living in fear of being targeted. Due to these issues and others facing the program, SIV
arrivals have fallen by more than half over the last fiscal year.

To sign on as a cosponsor, please email Jon Bosworth in my office at (Jon.Bosworth@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely,

 

Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress
Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration, Judiciary, Veterans

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
 
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.