07/22/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/22/2021 11:27
WASHINGTON - Today Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) released the following statement after the House overwhelmingly passed the bipartisan Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act:
'The bipartisan ALLIES Act will help our courageous Afghan translators, and other allies who risked their lives to assist American forces during the war, obtain immigration visas to come to the U.S. Now that President Biden has ended America's longest war, it's time for us to help the thousands of local Afghan translators and contractors who were critical to the safety and success of our mission in the country. As long as our allies remain on the ground in Afghanistan, they are at grave risk for retribution from Taliban forces. These brave men and women have already endured unacceptable delays and backlogs while trying to get out of Afghanistan, and I am proud of today's vote to get these heroes to the new home they have earned,' said Schneider.
The ALLIES Act makes important changes to the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to improve visa processing and ensure that the lives of those who served side by side with American troops in Afghanistan are protected. Among other things, H.R. 3985 adds an additional 8,000 visas to the SIV program, strengthens protections for surviving spouses and children of deceased SIV applicants, and streamlines SIV processing without compromising the strict background check and national security vetting procedures, or other processes to confirm visa eligibility.