Congress has failed its duty to protect those who fought with and protected U.S. troops in combat, Rep. Greg Stanton said, following news that appropriators omitted the Afghan Adjustment Act from the year-end omnibus funding bill.

“Despite broad, bipartisan support and the efforts of dedicated combat veterans, Afghans who risked their lives to protect our troops—and who we brought to American soil—will remain in unnecessary legal limbo because of a minority of Senate Republicans,” Stanton said. “It’s morally inexcusable to abandon those who risked their lives to protect our troops.”

Stanton is an original cosponsor of the bill, which would establish a legal adjustment process for tens of thousands of Afghan evacuees currently in the United States who were relocated by the U.S. government from Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrawal from the country. After completing additional vetting required during the application process, this adjustment of status would provide eligible Afghans with stability as they continue to rebuild their lives in the United States.

Currently, Afghans who were physically brought to the United States by our nation’s military were granted temporary humanitarian parole and can only pursue permanent legal status through the asylum system or, for those who are eligible, the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program. Both options face severe backlogs, long processing times, and logistical obstacles for these Afghans who were brought here under emergency circumstances.

Congress has passed similar adjustment legislation in the wake of other wartime evacuations and humanitarian crises, including the Vietnam War.

Additional information about the AAA is available HERE.