Meijer, Crow Introduce Legislation to Increase Visa Cap for Afghan Partners
U.S. Representatives Peter Meijer (R-MI) and Jason Crow (D-CO) today introduced the Showing American Values by Evacuating (SAVE) Afghan Partners Act of 2021, bipartisan legislation that would increase the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) cap for Afghan interpreters and other partners by 10,000 and make clear that those employed under cooperative agreements and grants are eligible for the Afghan SIV program.
“While the U.S. military is no longer present in Afghanistan, our mission there is not over,” said Rep. Meijer. “We still have thousands of interpreters and other Afghan partners who put themselves and their loved ones at risk now stranded in Afghanistan, and the chaotic and heartbreaking withdrawal that the world witnessed over the last few weeks shows just how vulnerable they still are. By clarifying SIV eligibility requirements and raising the visa cap, we will ensure that our allies are protected, and our promises are kept. Our credibility and moral standing in the world depend on the completion of this mission."
“For 20 years, our Afghan partners worked with us and fought with us to accomplish our missions in Afghanistan. They did so with the understanding that if they stood with our soldiers, America would be a place where they could seek refuge. The war may be over, but we can’t leave our friends and partners behind,” said Rep. Crow.
Rep. Meijer has been a longtime advocate for evacuating our Afghan partners and allies. In June, Rep. Meijer joined Rep. Crow in introducing theAverting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act, bipartisan legislation to increase the Afghan SIV cap by an additional 8,000 visas and remove burdensome application requirements that slow down the application process. That bill was signed into law as part of the Security Supplemental funding on July 30, 2021.
Earlier this year, Rep. Meijer cosponsored Rep. Crow’s HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, bipartisan legislation to temporarily waive the medical examination requirement for SIV applicants, which is cost prohibitive and difficult for many applicants to safely receive. It passed out of the House on June 29th and was signed into law as part of the Security Supplemental funding on July 30, 2021.
A total of 34,500 SIVs have been allocated since December 19, 2014.