On Friday, July 14, 2023, members of Congress from both political parties reintroduced the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA) in both the House of Representatives and Senate. It has 34 cosponsors – 10 in the Senate and 24 in the House.
The bill will provide support:
- to nationals of Afghanistan who supported the United States mission in Afghanistan
- adequate vetting for parolees from Afghanistan
- adjustment of status for eligible individuals
- special immigrant status for at-risk Afghan allies and certain members of the ANDSF
Since July 2021, more than 75,000 Afghans have been relocated by the United States government to communities across our country under Operation Allies Welcome. Most entered under a status called humanitarian parole which allowed them to temporarily stay for up to two years and work in the United States.
While some have been granted asylum and others have qualified for the Special Immigrant Visa program, there are many who still do not have a legal pathway to remain in the United States. Less than 10% have been approved for SIV or asylum status thus far. The Afghans requesting asylum are forced to navigate a complex and paperwork-intensive process in order to attain lawful permanent residency or green card. The asylum process is a years-long endeavor for some Afghans – an experience that encompasses burdens, barriers, and backlogs.
The two-year mark of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan is a month away. The Afghan Adjustment Act was first introduced a year ago – in 2022. However, attempts to include the AAA with other legislative bills failed at the end of 2022. This current bipartisan bill has the support of veterans, refugee advocates, and others from all walks of life in the United States.
The Afghan Adjustment Act will also improve and expand the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process by broadening SIV eligibility to include groups that worked alongside American forces in Afghanistan. This includes members of the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC), Afghan Air Force (AAF), Special Mission Wing (SMW), and the Afghan Female Tactical Teams.
The Afghan Adjustment Act will provide timely protection for those who fled Afghanistan and who were flown to the United States by the U.S. government in the period during and after the Kabul non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO).
Senate version – https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/2327 (July 2023)
House version – https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/house-bill/4627 (July 2023)
Co-Sponsor Press Release – July 2023.
Fact Sheet – The Afghan Adjustment Act. U.S. House of Representatives, 14 July 2023, PDF, 1 page.
Full Bill Text – Text of AAA, U.S. House of Representatives, 14 July 2023, PDF, 44 pages.