Ryan-Supported, Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Safety to Afghan Nationals Passes House of Representatives
Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed the ALLIES Act, a bill supported by Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) that will provide safety to the Afghan interpreters, security personnel, and contractors that worked with the U.S. Government during the Afghanistan conflict.
The legislation increases the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) cap by an additional 8,000 visas, covering all potentially eligible applicants currently in the pipeline. The bill also removes the requirement for a statement that applicants face a threat if they remain in Afghanistan. Lastly, the legislation includes a provision recognizing Afghans who supported the U.S. Government, but were not necessarily in a “sensitive” or “trusted” position.
Earlier this week, the Biden administration announced plans to send the first group of Afghans being evacuated amid threats to their lives to Fort Lee in Virginia. This action will protect 2,500 SIV applicants who are in the final stage of having their visas approved. The Pentagon will provide food and water, medical care, and access to religious facilities. The Department of Defense will not need to build new housing for them on the base.
“I was proud to see the ALLIES Act pass the House today. This bipartisan legislation preserves a sacred bond of trust with local nationals that the United States depends on when engaged in conflict overseas. We have got to do everything in our power to make sure we honor our commitment to those that were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for both their nation and ours-this legislation does that,” said Representative Ryan.
A companion bill also supported by Congressman Ryan, the HOPE for Afghan SIV’s Act, which reduces burdensome medical examinations for SIV applicants, passed the House last month. Both pieces of legislation now move to the Senate for consideration.