Rep. Wild Leads Bipartisan Letter to President Urging Commitment to Completing Evacuation Process in Afghanistan

August 23, 2021
Press Release
Calls for Extension of August 31st Deadline to Allow for Evacuations and Visa Processing

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representative Susan Wild (PA-07) led a bipartisan group of her colleagues in sending a letter to President Biden urging him to extend the August 31 deadline for complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. She is joined in the letter by Reps. Alma Adams (NC-12), Don Bacon (NE-02), Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Joaquin Castro (TX-20) Gerry Connolly (VA-11), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Bill Keating (MA-09), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Marie Newman (IL-03), Linda Sánchez (CA-38), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05).

 

The lawmakers wrote: “For nearly twenty years, multiple generations of Americans have served in Afghanistan, as members of our Armed Forces, international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multilateral organizations, and in countless other ways. In each instance, their work was supported by dedicated Afghan nationals who put their lives at risk to assist our efforts. There has never been a more important time for us to stand with our Afghan allies than now. As such, we urge you to take the following actions immediately: 

 

1.                   Improve access to Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), including by considering the creation of a broader access perimeter manned by U.S. military personnel outside the airport compound. We understand that to achieve this outcome, negotiations with the Taliban will be necessary, and we wholeheartedly encourage you to engage in such conversations immediately.

2.                  Extend the current military operation at HKIA beyond August 31 and begin discussions within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) regarding handing over the airport to a NATO force that will continue to evacuate Afghans who no longer wish to reside in Afghanistan, particularly those who assisted our efforts there.

3.                  Take any and all steps to streamline Special Immigrant Visa and P-2 Visa processes for Afghan nationals. The process as it exists is overly cumbersome and complicated to the point of being prohibitive for many.”

 

Rep. Wild has been outspoken on the need for the Biden Administration to improve its efforts to secure the airport and get Americans, as well as Afghan allies, out of Afghanistan safely. She joined Mehdi Hasan on MSNBC on Saturday to preview this letter. She has also been clear that the end of American military operations in Afghanistan is long overdue. This letter is part of an effort to ensure we keep our promises to get people out of the country quickly and safely.

 

The full letter is available here.

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