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Legislation includes language offering safe haven for Afghans who served U.S. during war

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today voted in favor of a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform package that would strengthen border security, require all employers to use an E-Verify system to ensure no workers are here illegally, and provide a tough but fair path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who are already living in the United States. The historic legislation passed on a bipartisan vote of 68-32.

“Commonsense immigration reform is the right thing for our economy and is long overdue,” Shaheen said. “The plan we passed today represents the right way forward.  It puts the millions of undocumented immigrants who are already living in our country on a path toward citizenship, but not until after imposing strict penalties. And this plan will strengthen border security which will blunt the flow of persons entering our country illegally.”

The bill would also increase the annual allotment of visas to Afghans who risked their lives by serving as interpreters for the U.S. military. This provision, which was included in the final bill by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), mirrors a plan that Senator Shaheen introduced as a standalone piece of legislation in May. The Wall Street Journal emphatically backed the proposal which will increase the annual allotment of visas to 5,000, promote eligibility for NATO-hired interpreters and extend the Afghan Allies Protection Act through 2018 to aid Afghans risking their lives for the U.S. mission.