August 9, 2022
The 5ive Pillars Organization welcomes the news that the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA) has been reintroduced in both the US Senate and House of Representatives. If passed, the bill would lift tens of thousands of Afghan allies out of impending legal limbo.
The bill was introduced on a bipartisan basis by legislators in the Senate, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
A bipartisan group in the House of Representatives also reintroduced the AAA, including Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR3), Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI3), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO6), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL16), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY10), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA2), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA19), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI6), and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA52).
The Afghan Adjustment Act allows Afghan evacuees to apply for Permanent Residency after two years. Over 70,000 Special Immigrant Visa applications are currently processing, most of which affect Afghan allies. These 70,000 petitions are in addition to an overall USCIS backlog of 1.4 million petitions. Passing the AAA would bring relief to 70,000 Afghan petitioners who are quickly finding themselves in uncertainty amid unprecedented USCIS delays that have been ongoing since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without the AAA, Afghans who were evacuated during the fall of Afghanistan in August 2021 would be forced to find a legal pathway towards legal status in August 2023 due to the two-year limitations imposed by parole regulations.
Passing the AAA would be consistent with previous adjustment acts passed by Congress for newcomers pertaining to the Cuban, Vietnamese, and Kurdish communities.
We are proud to see Afghan-American led organizations endorse the AAA, many of whom we've had the honor of partnering with on resettlement efforts such as the Afghan-American Foundation, Afghan-American Community Organization, Afghans For a Better Tomorrow, and Project Anar.