Padilla, Cornyn Applaud Senate Passage of HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act in Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, and John Cornyn (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, released the following statements after the Senate unanimously passed a $2 billion spending bill that includes key provisions of Padilla and Cornyn’s HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act. Thelegislation will expedite the process by which Afghan interpreters and translators who assisted U.S. troops during the War in Afghanistan can immigrate to the United States and avoid persecution. 

“I applaud the Senate for including key provisions of the HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act in today’s spending bill. The Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program has been critical in providing safety for Afghans who worked as interpreters, contractors and security personnel with the U.S. government in Afghanistan,” said Sen. Padilla. “Yet, approximately 20,000 Afghans are currently stuck in the backlog. The commonsense provisions passed today will help pave a more expeditious path to safety for these Afghans and their families.”

“After all the crucial assistance Afghan translators gave our servicemen and women during the War on Terror, it’s important that we make sure these heroes are able to efficiently immigrate to the United States to start a new life,” said Sen. Cornyn. “The HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act will remove one hurdle that prevents them from quickly escaping the dangers they face in Afghanistan due to their service to our troops.”

Background:

The Honoring Our Promises through Expedition (HOPE) for Afghan SIVs Act of 2021 will expedite the immigration process for Afghan interpreters and translators that assisted US forces in Afghanistan by waiving the requirement to undergo a medical exam for individuals who are otherwise eligible for special immigrant status under the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009. The bill would ensure that Afghan SIVs receive medical examinations as soon as possible after being admitted to the United States.

Bill text can be found here. 

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