As Congress Finalizes National Defense Authorization Act, Senate Passes Shaheen Resolution Calling To Reauthorize Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program
** Shaheen spoke about the Special Immigrant Visa program on the Senate Floor before the vote. You can watch Senator Shaheen’s full remarks here **
**Shaheen has led the bipartisan effort in the Senate to extend the program for Afghans who have supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and face threats from the Taliban and other terror groups**
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Senate passed a motion filed by U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to instruct conferees reconciling the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to advocate for the extension of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and authorize additional visas. The Senate passed Shaheen’s motion 84 to 12. The SIV program, which allows Afghans who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan to apply for refuge in the United States, was left out of the NDAA bill that passed the Senate in June after Shaheen’s bipartisan amendment was blocked. Her amendment would have extended the SIV program through 2017 and authorized 4,000 new visas for Afghans who have risked their lives, and the lives of their families, to support our service members serving in Afghanistan.
“Today, the Senate showed its overwhelming bipartisan support for the Special Immigrant Visa program,” said Senator Shaheen. “Now it’s time to back up this support with real action and stop playing games with this critical national security program. Our country owes a great debt to the Afghans who provided essential assistance to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Thousands of brave men and women stood shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers and diplomats and made a life and death difference to help them accomplish the mission and return home safely. Congress cannot turn its back on these individuals – that would be a moral failing and carry strategic national security costs going forward.”
Shaheen spoke about the Afghan SIV program on the Senate Floor before the vote. You can watch Senator Shaheen’s remarks here.
Last month, The New York Times published an op-ed by Senator Shaheen titled “A Broken Promise in Afghanistan,” where she called on Congress to not abandon those who risked their lives to serve with the United States.