Omission of Afghan Adjustment in Omnibus is an Outrage
Human Rights First calls for Leader Schumer to introduce a floor amendment
WASHINGTON D.C. – The release of the text of the omnibus spending bill reveals that the United States Senate did not include the critical Afghan Adjustment Act in this must-pass legislation; Human Rights First is outraged by this dereliction of duty to our Afghan allies and American veterans of the war in Afghanistan and will push the Senate to consider the act this week through a floor amendment.
“The failure of the Afghan Adjustment Act lies at the feet of Senator Grassley and Leader McConnell, who put racist, isolationist politics ahead of the safety of 80,000 wartime allies whose fates are now uncertain, the relationship of the United States to prospective allies who may never again trust American promises, and holding the administration accountable for the evacuation of 2021,” said Chris Purdy, director of Human Rights First’s Veterans for American Ideals program. “These senators have shown they are unwilling to listen to veterans, who have spent a year calling for passage of this bill. We hope Majority Leader Schumer defies them by bringing the Afghan Adjustment Act to the floor as an amendment.”
The Afghan Adjustment Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of senators and representatives, with the support of three out of four Americans. Among other reforms, the measure would give relocated Afghans a pathway to lawful permanent residency in the United States before their temporary humanitarian parole expires in late summer and fall of 2023.
While the United States has followed previous wartime evacuations with an adjustment act like this one, Senator Charles Grassley torpedoed the legislation on baseless grounds around vetting even though the bill would require everyone to be revetted. Senator Grassley cynically decided to prevent the Afghan evacuees from undergoing significant security checks by sinking this bill, all the while disingenuously complaining about the manner of the August 2021 evacuation.
Leader McConnell’s hypocrisy on this important bill was made abundantly clear last night when he spoke about his party’s commitment to veterans and the military, yet helped kill the Afghan Adjustment Act supported by millions of American veterans, including over 30 retired flag officers, three retired chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a former Supreme Allied commander of NATO, and several former commanders in Afghanistan who called it “a moral imperative” that furthers “the national security interests of the United States.”