House votes to allow more Afghans who assisted U.S. to evacuate before withdrawal

·1 min read

The House on Thursday voted to expand a visa program that would allow more Afghans who helped the U.S. military quickly immigrate to the United States, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Last month, the Biden administration made plans to evacuate many of the Afghans who worked with the U.S. military before completing the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. These individuals and their families face threats of retaliation from the Taliban because of their service to the U.S. military.

Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.

Details: The bill, which would expand the special visa program from 11,000 to 19,000, passed by a vote of 407 to 16.

  • The legislation further broadens who is eligible for the program, removing some application requirements.

  • For example, applicants will no longer need to provide a sworn statement that they faced threats or worked a "sensitive job" with the U.S. military, per the NYT.

What they're saying: "Many of us have expressed grave concerns about the challenges our allies face in navigating the application process," Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D- Calif.) said.

  • "They will be killed if we don’t get them out of there," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) said. "Please, Mr. President, get them out before they are killed."

What to watch: The bill still faces a vote in the Senate.

Go deeper: U.S. to evacuate some Afghans who helped troops before withdrawal

More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting