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house Bill H.R. 5694

Should More Visas be Available to Afghans Facing Taliban Threats for Working With Americans?

Argument in favor

Afghans who risked their lives by working with U.S. as interpreters and in other roles face threats on their lives from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures more of America’s Afghan allies can immigrate to the U.S.

Amaris's Opinion
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05/31/2018
I patrolled dangerous grounds with my interpreter for a year. Some of those guys have more grit than some of our own service members. They deserve citizenship and more.
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Russ 's Opinion
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05/31/2018
Yes, they have risked their lives to help our troops and put their families at risk as well and for us to shrug shoulders and say thanks and walk away, well, that’s just not what Americans do to their friends.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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05/31/2018
“H.R. 5694 - Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Act” Yes by all means Afghans who risked their lives by working with U.S. as interpreters and in other roles face threats on their lives from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures more of America’s Afghan allies can immigrate to the U.S. I’m in strong support of the passage of H.R 5694 “The Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Act of 2018” which would authorize an additional 4,000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghans who served alongside U.S. military and diplomatic personnel as translators, interpreters, or other support staff in fiscal year 2019. Afghans would be eligible if they worked with the U.S. during a period prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. Unused visas that have been authorized would carry over to future fiscal years, and unused visas from the Iraqi SIV program (which ended in 2014) would also be made available. 5*31*18
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Argument opposed

It’s wrong to continue a special visa program for Afghans who worked with U.S. military or diplomatic personnel even if they face threats on their lives. They should have to pursue immigration to the U.S. through other visa or refugee programs.

JTJ's Opinion
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05/31/2018
This makes no sense to me, why have we been working for so long to free them from their oppressors? What is the point if they inevitably flee to the US?
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Greg's Opinion
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05/31/2018
Look at what’s happening to Europe. I’m not a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist but if we let in too many too fast without properly vetting them we’re going to have the same thing happen. Murders, rapes, assaults, etc all because their culture dictates that they don’t assimilate. Sounds cruel but I say leave them there.
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Michael's Opinion
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06/05/2018
I have served with interpreters that risk their lives to help us. Many telling their families they are truck drivers to protect the as they and their families would be jailed if insurgents found out what they really did. It was very difficult when we left Iraq to abandon our interpreters and simply wish them the best of luck
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedMay 7th, 2018

What is House Bill H.R. 5694?

This bill — the Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Act of 2018 — would authorize an additional 4,000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghans who served alongside U.S. military and diplomatic personnel as translators, interpreters, or other support staff in fiscal year 2019. Afghans would be eligible if they worked with the U.S. during a period prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. Unused visas that have been authorized would carry over to future fiscal years, and unused visas from the Iraqi SIV program (which ended in 2014) would also be made available.

Afghans who assisted the U.S. in their country face threats on their lives from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS which led to the creation of the Afghan SIV program, which authorized the issuance of 14,500 visas since December 2014 and will end when visas have all been issued.

Impact

Eligible Afghans who worked with U.S. military and diplomatic personnel; and U.S. immigration authorities.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5694

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced this bill to address the shortage of visas in the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, which helps Afghans who served with the U.S. and are facing threats from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS:

“We have the greatest military in the world, and supporting our troops is critical to our national security. We must also remember our allies overseas who have risked their own lives to serve with American armed forces and personnel in order to advance the cause of freedom, and protect the United States. The War in Afghanistan continues, and I believe we must expand the SIV program and honor our commitment to those who risked so much to help us. I’m proud to lead this bipartisan, bicameral effort to keep the Afghan SIV program open and operating effectively. Our commitment to our allies is part of America’s legacy, it’s how we will defeat terrorism, and maintain our foreign relationships around the world. To day, we introduce this legislation to ensure we leave no man behind.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) added:

“Through the years our military has been in the Middle East, there have been Afghan and Iraqi citizens who have provided our country with critical support. These individuals put their lives, and the lives of their families, on the line to help our nation. The Special Immigrant Visa program provides extra consideration for these allies trying to come to the U.S. to live. This is one way we can honor these brave families.”

This legislation has the support of 10 bipartisan cosponsors, evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Army - Sgt. Lori Bilyou / Public Domain)

AKA

Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009.

    I patrolled dangerous grounds with my interpreter for a year. Some of those guys have more grit than some of our own service members. They deserve citizenship and more.
    Like (115)
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    This makes no sense to me, why have we been working for so long to free them from their oppressors? What is the point if they inevitably flee to the US?
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    If people stuck out their necks for America then we need to keep faith with them. We need to protect them and then families
    Like (53)
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    Yes, they have risked their lives to help our troops and put their families at risk as well and for us to shrug shoulders and say thanks and walk away, well, that’s just not what Americans do to their friends.
    Like (49)
    Follow
    Share
    “H.R. 5694 - Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Act” Yes by all means Afghans who risked their lives by working with U.S. as interpreters and in other roles face threats on their lives from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS. This commonsense, bipartisan bill ensures more of America’s Afghan allies can immigrate to the U.S. I’m in strong support of the passage of H.R 5694 “The Afghan Allies Protection Amendments Act of 2018” which would authorize an additional 4,000 Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghans who served alongside U.S. military and diplomatic personnel as translators, interpreters, or other support staff in fiscal year 2019. Afghans would be eligible if they worked with the U.S. during a period prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. Unused visas that have been authorized would carry over to future fiscal years, and unused visas from the Iraqi SIV program (which ended in 2014) would also be made available. 5*31*18
    Like (25)
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    Absolutely - these people have helped our troops when they needed it! How awful not to reciprocate!
    Like (17)
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    If they have put their/their family's life on the line to aid implementation of US Policy, what more should be asked? They have earned their way in!
    Like (16)
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    If they are willing to stick their necks out for us, give them amnesty.
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    Yes , we need to protect our allies.
    Like (12)
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    Of course Afghanistan nationals who cooperate with Americans should be offered protection from the Talibán.
    Like (10)
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    Yes, we should protect Afghans who put their lives in danger to help us. However, the war in Afghanistan needs to end. We’ve been there for 17 years and the Taliban still has a presence. Fighting the Taliban and conducting nation building in the country has been a failure and just pours money into the military-industrial complex. We need to get out now!
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    I’m appalled and embarrassed by the number of people who voted NAY!! What kind of hardened, callus hearts do you have? We are NOT talking about illegal immigrants or terrorists… The question has to do with Afghanis who have sacrificed by putting their lives and probably their families lives in danger in order to help OUR troops! They absolutely need to be rewarded by being given a new safer life! In all likelihood, if we left them behind when we were done with them - like used up toilet paper - they most certainly could expect to be found out and then killed. Is this the kind of message we want to give the world and our allies… That we are nothing but users?
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    These men and women have done an incredible service to the men and women in Afghanistan. They have saved the lives of many American troops by serving as translators and informants. Protection from the Taliban was one of the guarantees we offered for their service, and we must honor that promise. It is the least we can do for all they’ve done for the US.
    Like (4)
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    Look at what’s happening to Europe. I’m not a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist but if we let in too many too fast without properly vetting them we’re going to have the same thing happen. Murders, rapes, assaults, etc all because their culture dictates that they don’t assimilate. Sounds cruel but I say leave them there.
    Like (4)
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    We owe our protection & gratitude to those who have risked their lives to help & protect our military & our country.
    Like (4)
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    “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”. The least we can do is to ensure their survival in such an inimical milieu until they can assure themselves of a safe environment they can live in wherever that may be.
    Like (3)
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    Afghanis who risked their lives, and by extension their families, should absolutely have access to a special visa program. Please help those that helped our military personnel.
    Like (3)
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    Why are we abandoning our colleagues? I THOUGHT TRUMP REVERES LOYALTY! Am I mistaken, or is this another of his falsehoods? After all, HE IS A CONGENITAL LIAR!
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    It's the right thing to do.
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    No. We have to be very cautious and thoroughly vet anyone coming here especially those who could be radicals or have criminal records.
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