Gardner, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduces Legislation to Extend Visa Program for Afghan Interpreters, Support Staff

Legislation would authorize 4,000 additional visas for the next fiscal year

Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), along with five of their colleagues, introduced bipartisan legislation to further extend the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program (SIV), which allows Afghans who have supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and face threats as a result of their service to apply for refuge in the United States. The legislation authorizes 4,000 additional visas for the next fiscal year and takes additional steps to strengthen Afghan SIV processing and vetting.


“When I was in Afghanistan recently meeting with American commanders and troops from Colorado, I also had the opportunity to meet several Afghan soldiers and civilians assisting the United States Armed Forces in our fight against terror,” said Gardner. “These Afghan personnel are standing shoulder to shoulder with the United States and providing critical support to our mission. We must thank them for their sacrifice and provide refuge to these courageous Afghans. This bipartisan legislation is a good first step to keep our promise to the Afghan people.”


“Afghan civilians continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Americans in the battlefield at tremendous risk to the safety and welfare of their families,” said Shaheen. “Their service in support of our military and diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan has saved American lives. Given the Trump Administration’s decision to deploy several thousand additional U.S. military personnel to Afghanistan last year, continued authorization of the Afghan SIV program remains critical to the mission. Congress has an obligation to do its part to uphold our nation’s promise to allow these brave Afghans and their families to find refuge in the United States. I’m very pleased that, once again, this effort will be on a bipartisan basis.”


The legislation can be read here.