**Senators Shaheen and McCain led fight for amendment to extend visa program for Afghans who have supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and face threats from the Taliban and other terror groups**
**On Senate floor last week, Shaheen called on the Senate to continue to support these brave men and women**
(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) decried the Senate’s failure to vote on her amendment to the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have preserved the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, which allows Afghans who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and face threats as a result to apply for refuge in the United States. The bipartisan amendment would have extended the SIV program for Afghans who have risked their lives, and the lives of their families, to support our servicemembers serving in Afghanistan.
“It’s unconscionable that the Senate has turned its back on the brave Afghan men and women who put their lives on the line to support our troops,” said Shaheen. “Our country owes a great debt to the Afghans who provided invaluable assistance to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. For many of them, this could be a death sentence. Thousands of Afghans have put themselves, and their families, at risk to help our soldiers and diplomats accomplish their mission and return home safely. I’m disappointed and disheartened that the Senate could not come together to support these brave men and women. I’ll continue to look for every opportunity to extend this important program.”
In May, Shaheen introduced a bipartisan amendment, which was co-sponsored by Senator McCain, Senator Reed (D-RI), Senator Tillis (R-NC), Senator Kaine (D-VA), Senator Durbin (D-IL), Senator Peters (D-MI), Senator Casey (D-PA), Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Franken (D-MN), that would have extended the Afghan SIV program through 2017 and authorized the Department of State to issue an additional 4,000 visas.