Washington DC— Voice for Refuge Action Fund welcomes the bicameral introduction of a bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act in both the House and Senate. Republican and Democratic Members of Congress have come together to introduce this important legislation to provide an opportunity to become lawful permanent residents to the thousands of Afghans who were relocated and resettled in the United States. Currently, Afghans relocated amid the withdrawal from Afghanistan since August 2021 have been navigating the complex U.S. immigration system and still unsafe from the very trauma that forced them from their homes. The Afghan Adjustment Act would offer a permanent way forward for resettled Afghans and allow them to find lasting safety in the United States.
The Afghan Adjustment Act was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Peter Meijer (R-MI), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Jason Crow (D-CO), Fred Upton (R-MI), and Scott Peters (D-CA). A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
“We celebrate the countless hours of hard work by the Afghan American community, veterans, resettlement agencies, advocates, and Representatives and Senators who would not give up. The Afghan Adjustment Act is essential to ensuring that relocated Afghans can build their lives and thrive with permanent protection,” said Erol Kekic, Executive Director of Voice for Refuge. “Should this legislation become law, tens of thousands of individuals and families who lived through the trauma of the U.S. withdrawal will be able to finally close that chapter and begin planning for the rest of their lives as U.S. permanent residents. We urge Congress to swiftly pass this legislation in September when Members return from recess.”
While the Afghan Adjustment Act is a critical step to upholding one of our promises to at-risk Afghans, it is unable to address the needs of the thousands of our Afghan partners left behind, still seeking safety from persecution. We urge continued action from the Biden administration to expand refugee and SIV processing, establish a designated parole program for Afghans, and create safe pathways to the United States for those left behind.
Voice for Refuge is the first 501(c)4 organization created to advance pro-refugee policies at the national, state, and local level and to hold elected leaders accountable to upholding America’s legacy of welcome. Voice for Refuge is educating the public about the benefits of refugee resettlement, advocating for pro-refugee policies in Congress and state legislatures, and increasing civic engagement among refugees through non-partisan voter education. Voice for Refuge will also promote the representation of refugees in government by supporting former refugees and pro-refugee candidates running for office at