TOMORROW ON CAPITOL HILL: SHAHEEN, BIPARTISAN COALITION TO HOST PRESS CONFERENCE TO INTRODUCE SPECIAL IMMIGRANT VISA BILL

Lawmakers will introduce Special Immigrant Visa Program extension for civilians who served alongside Americans in Afghanistan

May 07, 2014

(Washington, DC) –U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will hold a press conference tomorrow, Thursday, May 8 at 10:30 a.m. in the Mansfield Room (S-207) with Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) to introduce the bipartisan Afghan Allies Protection Extension Act. The legislation, sponsored by Senator Shaheen and John McCain (R-AZ)  in the Senate and Representatives Blumenauer and Kinzinger in the House, will extend and reform the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghan civilians who risked their lives working with the U.S. government,  American media and non-profit organizations. 

The SIV program provides visas to Iraqis and Afghans who have provided faithful and valuable service to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and face threats as a result. Shaheen has led ongoing efforts with McCain to extend and reform the SIV program, helping prevent the Iraq program from expiring last year and pass critical reforms to both the Iraq and Afghanistan programs. The Afghan Allies Protection Extension Act would reform and extend the SIV program for Afghanistan so that the U.S. can keep its promise to those individuals and their families who served alongside Americans overseas, including the U.S. military.

Expected speakers and attendees for Thursday’s press conference include Shaheen, Blumenauer and Kinzinger along with Matt Zeller, an Army veteran and former CIA officer, and his translator, Janis Shinwari, who was able to come to the United States with his family last year because of the SIV program. Representatives from the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), and the Truman National Security Project will also be in attendance.

Members of the media who plan to attend should email Nick Brown at Nick_Brown@shaheen.senate.gov.

WHAT:  Press conference on the introduction of the Afghan Allies Protection Extension Act of 2014.

EXPECTED SPEAKERS & ATTENDEES:

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)

Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)

Matt Zeller and Janis Shinwari

Adrian Kinsella

Ali Beydoun

Walt Cooper

Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)

Truman National Security Project

WHEN: Thursday, May 8 at 10:30am 

WHERE: Mansfield Room, S-207, US Capitol