WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently co-sponsored a bipartisan amendment to the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ), and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) to preserve the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, which allows Afghans who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and face threats as a result to apply for refuge in the United States.
The amendment would extend the Afghan SIV program through December 31, 2017 and authorize the Department of State to issue an additional 4,000 visas. The amendment would also require the Department of Defense and the Department of State to prepare and provide to Congress a strategy for responsibly winding down the Afghan SIV program over the next several years.
“Many brave Afghans have risked their lives in order to support American troops and their efforts to defeat terrorists,” said Senator Tillis. “In return, America has a moral obligation to provide these Afghans with safety from the Taliban who seek to harm them and their families for assisting America’s mission in Afghanistan. Falling short of this obligation would signal to the world that America is willing to turn its back on friends who stood with our nation, a grave mistake we cannot afford to make.”