Hurd Joins Colleagues to Introduce Afghan Allies Protection Act
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Will Hurd (TX-23) joined a group of his House colleagues this week to introduce the Afghan Allies Protection Act (H.R. 2796). This bipartisan bill further demonstrates our nation’s support for the thousands Afghan and Iraqi allies who served alongside U.S. troops, diplomats and government employees in their countries.
“Our local Afghan and Iraqi partners have done critical work to assist U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. They have had our back, and we must continue to have theirs,” said Hurd, who served alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan as an undercover CIA officer. “I am proud to join my colleagues today to introduce this bipartisan bill that protects these allies by ensuring that the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program continues to provide pathways to safety for those working in allegiance with the U.S.”
Since 2002, the U.S. Government has employed thousands of Afghan and Iraqi allies to serve alongside U.S. troops, diplomats and other government employees. These allies and their families have become the targets of anti-American persecution and violence. With broad bipartisan support, Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to provide pathways to safety for Afghans and Iraqis 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. 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. This bill authorizes 4,000 new SIVs and requires the State Department to report to Congress on obstacles to protecting Afghan and Iraqi allies through the SIV program.