Congress considers doubling number of Afghanistan SIVs

Congress considers doubling number of Afghanistan SIVs

Congress is considering the FY24 State Department Funding Bill, which would significantly increase the number of Afghanistan Special Immigrant Visas (SIV), which would essentially double the number of combat interpreters and others who could find safety in America.

The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations bill authorizes an additional 12,000 Afghan SIVs. It also extends the time that applicants can apply for the program by one year, until Dec. 31, 2025.

“This will be a huge win for our Afghanistan allies,” American Legion National Commander Daniel Seehafer said. “Since April 2021 when the U.S. announced it would withdraw from Afghanistan, Congress has only authorized 12,000 additional visas until now. While this process should have been expedited, we are grateful for the prospect that more of our Afghanistan allies will be safe now.”

Congress authorized an additional 8,000 SIV visas before the withdrawal and then another 4,000 in December 2022.

The American Legion has long supported Afghanistan allies who assisted U.S. troops during the 20-year war. Resolution No. 16: Recognition for Afghan and Iraqi Combat Translators was passed by the National Executive Committee in 2018, and still is in effect today.

“Because of the tireless work from The American Legion and our many friends and supporting organizations, we are about to double the visa authorization in this bill,” Seehafer said. “Without question we still need to do more, but a victory in a larger fight is something to celebrate. I urge all Legionnaires to contact your member of Congress today and encourage them to support this bill.”

To contact your member of Congress, visit The American Legion’s Grassroots Action Center and encourage them to support this legislation.