Three Hearings and No Answers: Human Rights First & Veterans for American Ideals Renew Call to Evacuate SIVs
WASHINGTON — After three hours-long hearings regarding the United States’ planned withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan before the Senate Committee on Armed Services, the House Committee on Armed Services, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Biden administration is yet to outline a concrete plan to bring the over 17,000 Afghan allies yet to be processed in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to safety in the United States.
“We are rapidly running out of time to honor our commitment to our Afghan allies and bring them to safety,” said President and CEO Michael Breen. “The Biden administration must realize that following through on that commitment is not only vital to these Afghan people but also vital to our national security. The administration must present a concrete plan to save our allies before U.S. forces leave their country and the Taliban target them for their work with us.”
Veterans organizations, faith groups, and civil society call for an evacuation of SIVs to U.S. territory. Given the significant threat of violence and persecution faced by Afghans who supported U.S. troops, the Biden administration must treat the evacuation of our allies with the same gravity as the removal of American personnel and military hardware.
Veterans for American Ideals has long advocated for improving and strengthening the U.S. SIV program. In April, VFAI, the Truman Center for National Policy and Human Rights First, sent a white paper to lawmakers calling for a mass evacuation of Afghans promised U.S. protection and an immediate adjustment on the cap on SIV allocations.