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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3985 – Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act of 2021

July 19, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)
(Rep. Crow, D-CO and 126 cosponsors)

The Administration supports H.R. 3985, the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act of 2021. This legislation supports the President's goal of ensuring the United States meets our commitments to those who served with us in Afghanistan and we continue to study other features being proposed concerning potential scope of eligibility.

The Afghan SIV Program was created in 2009 to provide safety for Afghan interpreters, contractors, and security personnel who worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan. Since the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 was originally passed, the United States has brought in thousands of Afghans and their families to start new lives in the United States free from fear of Taliban retribution. However, the current security situation in Afghanistan presents a serious threat to these partners and we must be able to do more to get them to safety.

H.R. 3985 will assist in our efforts to streamline the application process by removing or revising some statutory requirements the Administration has found to be unnecessary and burdensome, while maintaining appropriate security vetting, and by increasing the total number of visas available to help meet the demand. These changes to the program, along with those in the recently passed H.R. 3385 HOPE for SIVs Act, which will temporarily waive the requirement for SIV applicants to undergo a medical examination while in Afghanistan are critical to expediting the application process and helping us get more Afghan partners through the process and into safety.

The Administration understands that many Members of Congress and their constituents have served alongside the men and women whom we are trying to help through the SIV program. We are grateful to them as well as to all of the U.S. military and civilian personnel, serving alongside our Allies and partners, for their service and dedication to the mission. The Administration looks forward to working with Congress on this bill to ensure we are honoring our promises to those who stood with us at great risk to their personal lives and those of their families, and to whom we are indebted.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3985 – Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act of 2021 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/351938