Protecting Our Afghan Allies
Keeping Our Promise to All Who Serve
Thousands of U.S. troops, diplomats, and other government personnel have relied on Afghan nationals for a variety of crucial services, including interpretation, advice on political and cultural affairs, construction, and security. Many U.S. citizens, particularly veterans, credit Afghan allies with saving their lives and ensuring their safe return home.
In turn, these local nationals have been met with threats against their lives from forces hostile to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Some have been killed, some have lost family members, and many have been forced to relocate or go into hiding because of their service.1
When Mohammad Usafi, an Afghan interpreter, was first recruited by the US forces in Afghanistan, his father told him, “This is a great opportunity. You’re going to be helping your country and supporting the US troops that [are] here for your country.” Usafi signed up to assist American forces the next day, placing himself and his family at grave risk of retribution. When the Taliban subsequently killed Usafi’s father, it became clear that Usafi’s work represented too real a threat, and he looked to America for protection. Mohammad Usafi’s father was killed because his son performed faithful and valuable service on behalf of the US mission in Afghanistan.2
Last year, World Relief welcomed 226 brave men, women, and children from Afghanistan to King County where they have begun rebuilding their lives in safety and hope. While these families are thriving here, many others back in Afghanistan still fear for their safety and those that are here fear for the family members they have left behind.
We request that members of Congress:
1. Allocate the proper number of Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans by signing on to S. 630 or H.R. 1544 "Keeping Our Promise to Our Afghan Allies"
2. Create a path that allows for parents, siblings, and extended families in danger to join their families here in America
3. Oversee that visa processing time is decreased to the 270 days that congress previously ordered rather than the current 434 days it is currently averaging
Here are the steps you can take to begin advocating for this issue:
1. Find out who your Congressman and Senators are by entering your address here: whoismyrepresentative.com
2. Call your Senators (2 People) and Congressman or Congresswoman (1 Person) to tell them about this issue and also to request a meeting with them at their local office to explain it in person.
1. International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP): A Question of Honor: The Ongoing Importance of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program