The bipartisan lawmakers contended that the present course of for Afghan Particular Immigrant Visa (SIV) candidates is not going to work.
“It takes a median of 800+ days, and we plan to withdraw in lower than 100 days,” they famous. US Central Command mentioned this week that the US withdrawal from the nation was 30% to 44% full.
The lawmakers known as on the administration to “set up a President’s Interagency Process Pressure accountable for the visa administration and evacuation of our Afghan allies earlier than our withdrawal from the nation,” and advised it particularly take a look at Guam as a possible evacuation website.
“The Process Pressure ought to be certain that evacuation plans don’t intervene with continued assist of Afghan forces and officers in nation and put in place expedited procedures for Afghans who could select to be evacuated later as nicely,” they wrote.
The members of Congress informed Biden they had been “more and more involved that you haven’t but directed the Division of Protection be mobilized as a part of a concrete and workable complete of presidency plan to guard our Afghan companions.” They famous that though their working group had “launched laws to streamline and speed up the method by elevating the visa cap for the Afghan Particular Immigrant Visa (SIV) program and waiving the medical examination requirement,” it could not be sufficient to deal with the problem within the rapid time period.
“The SIV software backlog is more likely to continue to grow and our Afghan companions are sure to face a good larger risk,” they mentioned.
CNN has reached out to the White Home for remark.
Pentagon in early levels of planning an evacuation
He mentioned the group has obtained 1000’s of messages since Biden introduced in April that the US navy would withdraw from Afghanistan.
“Each single e mail and Fb message we’ve contains the anxiousness and the worry that persons are having,” he informed CNN. “It is a very tense time.”
State Division spokesperson Ned Value mentioned Thursday that the division had elevated employees in Washington to course of Afghan SIV functions and has “authorised a brief enhance in consular staffing in our embassy in Kabul to conduct interviews and to course of visa functions.” It is usually looking for a rise within the variety of slots for SIV candidates in its fiscal yr 2022 price range request.
“We perceive and we acknowledge that we’ve a particular dedication and a particular duty to the numerous Afghans who, over time, have at nice danger to themselves and even to their households — have assisted the US in our efforts in Afghanistan,” Value mentioned at a division press briefing. “We’re all the time looking for methods to enhance the SIV course of whereas guaranteeing the integrity of this system and safeguarding our nationwide safety and affording alternatives to those Afghans.”
Value declined to touch upon the potential for an evacuation, noting that even after the withdrawal of US troops, “our embassy will stay, will be capable to proceed processing.”
The State Division has repeatedly sought to underscore its ongoing dedication to the individuals of Afghanistan amid a full, unconditional withdrawal of US troops after almost 20 years on the bottom. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday introduced that the US would offer greater than $266 million in new humanitarian help to Afghanistan.
“This help from the American individuals will assist our worldwide humanitarian companions present assist to a few of the estimated 18 million individuals in want in Afghanistan, together with greater than 4.8 million Afghans internally displaced,” Blinken mentioned in a press release.
“Moreover, this help helps to deal with safety wants for probably the most susceptible Afghans. This contains ladies and women going through explicit dangers, together with gender-based violence, because of the pandemic and many years of battle,” he mentioned.
Nevertheless, regardless of the said assurances, there are robust considerations about the way forward for the nation and the protection of the Afghans who labored to assist the US — in addition to ladies and minority teams — if the nation had been to come back again beneath Taliban management.
“It might be an ethical failure to switch the duty to guard our Afghan companions onto the shoulders of the Afghan Authorities,” the lawmakers wrote of their Friday letter. “If we fail to guard our allies in Afghanistan, it can have an enduring impression on our future partnerships and world fame, which is able to then be an excellent detriment to our troops and the way forward for our nationwide safety.”