Padilla, Cornyn Introduce Bill to Speed Up Immigration Process for Afghan Interpreters Who Assisted US Forces
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, introduced their HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, which will speed up the process by which Afghan interpreters and translators who assisted US troops during the War on Terror can immigrate to the United States and avoid persecution. Congressmen Jason Crow (D-Colo.) and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“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. This bill is a commonsense solution that 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.”
The Honoring Our Promises through Expedition (HOPE) for Afghan SIVs Act of 2021 will expedite the immigration process for Afghani 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.