Afghan Adjustment Act Congress
Joel Anderson speaks before those gathered at the USS Midway Thursday. Photo credit: @AfghanEvac via Facebook

Supporters on Thursday called on Congress to pass legislation to assist Afghans seeking to come to the U.S. after working with and for coalition forces during America’s longest war.

The Afghan Adjustment Act is intended to enable newly arrived Afghans to go through the immigration process, undergo vetting with security reviews, and have a path forward to lawful permanent residency in the U.S. It is similar to laws passed for Vietnam nationals following the Vietnam War.

“Our Afghan allies not only earned a path to citizenship, but they deserve a path to citizenship,” said San Diego County Supervisor Joel Anderson at a news conference Thursday aboard the USS Midway Museum. “When we don’t follow through on our promises, we hurt not only these Afghans but also the American people.”

Dozens of veterans, Afghan refugees and elected representatives joined Anderson in urging Congress to act. That followed a Wednesday letter signed by more than two dozen elected officials from both major parties seeking federal action and support from Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, D- New York.

Shawn VanDiver, a Navy veteran and president of #AfghanEvac, noted the USS Midway’s involvement in evacuating American citizens and Vietnamese allies following the fall of Saigon.

“Today, we must continue to uphold those values – especially our commitment to stand by our allies,” VanDiver said. “These Afghans fought side by side with us through 20 years of war, and with this one bill we can start to repay the debt we owe them.”

The war in Afghanistan began a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and continued through 2021.

– City News Service