Today, the United States Senate followed the House of Representatives and approved a bipartisan measure that will grant 1,000 more special immigrant visas (SIVs) to Afghans who have worked alongside Americans and risked their lives to secure a better future for Afghanistan and a safer world for everyone.
This issue was of particular importance to Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been working on it since before he was in office. “When I was in the Senate, I was proud to support the creation of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program to keep faith with so many Afghans and Iraqis who stood by the United States,” the Secretary said in a statement.
The Secretary was especially appreciative of the members of Congress who came together to pass this important legislation: “I want to particularly thank my former Senate colleagues, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and John McCain, as well as their counterparts in the House, Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Adam Kinzinger, for their leadership on this issue. We look forward to further cooperation with Congress as we seek authorization to continue this program in fiscal year 2015.”
Deputy Secretary Higgenbottom also praised Congress’ action on social media, tweeting:
— Heather Higginbottom (@hhigginbottom) August 1, 2014
For all the Afghans who were made a promise that the United States would honor its commitment to them, today was a very special day. For them, today’s vote means that America lived up to its values, and that soon they would be able to share those values as Americans themselves.
About the Author: Mary Frangakis serves as an Afghanistan Desk Officer in the U.S. Department of State.
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