Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to prioritize the safety and security of our Afghan allies who have supported the United States over the past 20 years of American presence in Afghanistan. We urge the administration to take prompt action to relocate to third countries the more than 18,000 Afghans and their 53,000 family members who are still waiting for special immigrant visas from the United States.
Since 2001, our Afghan allies on-the-ground have supported our troops and embassy staff as interpreters, engineers, drivers, security guards, embassy clerks, fixers, journalists, human rights campaigners. and more. They have put their lives on the line to help keep Americans safe and rebuild their country, and now face great danger as the Taliban targets them for their collaboration with the U.S. government.
The U.S. cannot stand idle as our Afghan partners face growing threats from the Taliban and cannot abandon them as the Biden administration prepares to pull out our troops this September. The administration has taken a key first step in keeping our partners and their families safe and must continue to work with third countries and embassy staff to protect these vulnerable Afghans from the Taliban and process their special immigrant visas as quickly as possible.
“For decades, thousands of Afghans have been invaluable partners, supporting our troops and diplomats and campaigning for democratic reforms and women’s rights, often at great personal risk,” said Foreign Policy for America Senior Director for Policy Ben Weingrod. “Ensuring the safety of our Afghan partners is not only the right thing to do, it also sends a clear message that the United States will remain committed to our allies even as we look to rein in longstanding conflicts. We encourage the administration to move with all haste to ensure our partners are quickly relocated and granted entry to the United States.”