Shaheen Responds to Biden Administration Reform of Afghan SIV Program

July 18, 2022

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement of new reforms to the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to improve the application process and reduce the time that applicants wait for approval. Shaheen has long championed the Afghan SIV program and worked with Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) on bipartisan legislation that was signed into law last year to improve the program to better protect Afghan civilians who risked their lives to support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. 

“I’m very encouraged by the Biden administration’s improvements to the Afghan SIV program so we can make the application process more efficient. Brave Afghan civilians who served shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. personnel are living under threat of Taliban retribution while also navigating this incredibly complex process. Any effort to streamline that process and get them out of harm’s way, while ensuring the integrity of the process, is welcomed action,” said Shaheen. “Time is not on our side because we know these individuals who put their lives on the line to advance the U.S. mission are targets of the Taliban. I’ll continue to work across the aisle in the Senate and with the Biden administration to do everything in our power to further reform the Afghan SIV program and get vulnerable Afghans to safety.” 

Senator?Shaheen historically partnered with Senator John McCain (R-AZ)?on efforts to protect Afghans who’ve risked their lives to support U.S. diplomatic efforts abroad by strengthening the Afghan SIV program. She has?led bipartisan?efforts in Congress to reauthorize additional Afghan SIVs. In addition, Senator Shaheen supported legislation?to establish a nonpartisan, independent commission to examine every aspect of?the?war in Afghanistan, including the political and strategic decisions that transformed a focused military mission into a vast, nation-building campaign that became the longest war in U.S. history.