WASHINGTON – Last Friday, Common Defense and 25 other veteran organizations sent a joint letter to Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McCarthy, and Leader McConnell, advocating for the inclusion of Afghan Adjustment Act in the upcoming continuing resolution FY2023. As the nation’s largest grassroots progressive organization with 250,000+ members, Common Defense asks that we protect our Afghan allies, who we fought with shoulder to shoulder in a 20-year long war, with lawful permanent residence in the United States.
- “Last year, when the Taliban forces seized control of the country, our Afghan allies faced and continue to face persecution for having stood by us. Many of us made personal commitments to our allies, and we believe that the United States has a sacred obligation to the people of Afghanistan. We must honor the promises we made as a nation and are duty-bound to fulfill. Failure to do so already calls into question this nation’s ability to adhere to our code and our values.”
- “Currently, Afghans who were brought to safety during the military evacuation and admitted to the United States under temporary humanitarian parole have protection for a maximum of two years – set to expire in August/September of this coming year.”
- “We call on Congress to pass legislation that would allow Afghan parolees who are being evacuated from Afghanistan to have an opportunity to seek lawful permanent residence.”
- “[The Afghan Adjustment Act would] Allow Afghans on temporary humanitarian status in the U.S. who submit to additional security vetting and an in-person interview to apply for permanent lawful status … [and] Require the U.S. Department of State to implement an office capable of reviewing visa applications and providing other consular services for Afghans as long as there is no operational embassy in Afghanistan.”
- “We promised to stand by our allies, those who served in uniform and those who we championed to publicly defend women’s and democratic rights, often at risk to themselves and their families. The U.S. government made that promise as well and keeping it assures that the American handshake still means something. A promise on which, like us, the next generation of military service members lives will rely.”
If you would like to learn more about Common Defense and their commitment to the people of Afghanistan and Ending Forever Wars, please reach out to either Jacob Thomas, Communications Director ([email protected]) or Santiago Rivera ([email protected]).
Common Defense is a grassroots, veteran-led organization that was founded in 2016. We empower veterans to stand up for our communities against the rising tide of racism, hate, and violence, to organize against the entrenched powers that have rigged our economy, and to champion an equitable and representative democracy, where “liberty and justice” truly is for all. For too long, politicians from both political parties have attempted to use veterans as unwilling political props, and Common Defense serves as a home for veterans to organize and speak for themselves and support the candidates who truly share our values.