Veteran Groups Call on President Biden to Swiftly and Safely Evacuate Afghan Allies
NEW YORK -- Veterans for American Ideals (VFAI) today released a letter from fifteen veteran-led organizations calling on President Biden to swiftly evacuate the over 17,000 Afghans in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program as a central element of our military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“As we prepare to bring America’s longest war to a close, we cannot abandon the Afghans who faithfully served alongside American troops,” said Director of Veterans for American Ideals Chris Purdy. “For all intents and purposes, these are veterans. They have saved American lives. They deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as any combat soldier. The clock is ticking on the President’s commitment to withdraw by September 11; we must honor our commitments to our allies now.”
On April 14, President Biden announced that the United States will withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan risks endangering the lives of our Afghan allies, and the Biden administration can choose to bring these allies to safety.
VFAI is joined by organizations representing over 2.7 million veterans in urging President Biden to fulfill the debt of honor America owes to those who risked their lives to serve with our armed forces. As the U.S. prepares its withdrawal and attacks against Afghan nationals who cooperated with the U.S. military rise, we must ensure that allies who have been waiting years to relocate to the United States are able to do so without delay.
Veterans for American Ideals has long advocated to improve and strengthen the U.S. SIV program. In April, VFAI, the Truman Center for National Policy, and Human Rights First, sent a white paper to lawmakers calling for a mass evacuation of Afghans promised U.S. protection and an immediate adjustment on the cap on SIV allocations.