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House Passes Wenstrup-Backed Bipartisan Bill to Evacuate Afghan Interpreters Who Helped Aided Forces

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House passed H.R. 3985, the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act of 2021, by a vote of 407-16. Congressman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) is a member of the bipartisan Honoring Our Promises Working Group, which led this legislation that better streamlines the process to help evacuate our Afghan interpreters and other allies from Afghanistan as the United States withdraws from the country.

“We owe it to the brave men and women who aided our troops as interpreters and guides to take care of them as the United States leaves Afghanistan. This bipartisan bill cuts through red tape and allows us to keep the promises we made to leave no one behind,” said Congressman Wenstrup. “I’m grateful for and proud of the hard work of by my fellow veterans in the Keeping Our Promises Working Group for continuing to press this issue until we were able to break the log jam. The Senate must now consider the ALLIES Act and the HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, which passed the House back in June, without further delay.”

H.R. 3985 would:

  • Increase the Afghan SIV cap by 8,000 Visas.
  • Removes a duplicative requirement for an applicant to provide additional paperwork to establish a credible threat, which exists for applicants with already-verified U.S. Government ties.
  • Aligns the “sensitive and trusted” standard for Afghans employed by International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) or Resolute Support (RS) with the current standard for U.S. Government employees.
  • Clarified eligibility for Afghans who supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan while employed under U.S. Government cooperative agreements and grants.
  • Streamlines duplicative procedures by eliminating the I-360 petition to USCIS, which could reduce the process by 1 to 3 months.
  • Allows spouses of deceased primary applicants to continue through the process if their spouse had applied for COM approval.

You can read the section-by-section here.

The bill builds upon the HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, led by Congressmen Brad Wenstrup and Jason Crow, which passed the House under suspension on June 29.

Reps. Wenstrup, Crow, Waltz, and Moulton published an op-ed in RealClearDefense about their efforts titled, “The U.S. Must Honor Our Promises and Protect Afghan Partners.”

Congressman Brad Wenstrup has served in the U.S. Army Reserve since 1998, currently holding the rank of Colonel. In 2005-2006, he served a tour in Iraq as a combat surgeon and was awarded a Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge for his service. During his time in Congress, Brad is fulfilling his Reserve duties by treating patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.