Blumenauer Statement on Efforts to Protect Afghan Allies
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following is a statement from U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who helped create the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa programs, on President Biden’s announcement today regarding plans to protect Afghan allies in the face of the United States’ drawdown efforts in Afghanistan:
"Over the past two decades, tens of thousands of Afghan allies have put their own lives, and the lives of their families, on the line to help our country. In return, we promised them safety and a new life in the United States – because being a friend should not be fatal. I helped create the Special Immigrant Visa program with former Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy, two leaders who understood our duty to the people who helped America and relied on us to protect them. President Biden’s announcement today is welcome news that we will keep that promise to our allies. It’s critical to the lives of translators, the safety of American troops abroad, and our country’s international standing.