Omar, Others To Biden: Increase Admissions For Afghan Refugees

As the people of Afghanistan face an unfolding tragedy, the United States must open its doors to refugees fleeing the devastatin
-A +A
0

Photos: YouTube\Twitter

WASHINGTON – Friday, Representatives Barbara Lee (CA-13) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) led a group of 66 members of Congress, including Representative Ilhan Omar (MN-05), in calling on the Biden Administration to increase the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program cap to no less than 200,000 when President Biden issues his Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 before October 1st. In Afghanistan­--where the Taliban has overthrown the Afghan government--Afghan allies of the U.S., women’s rights activists, civil servants, and more are fleeing violence and persecution under Taliban rule.

As Special Immigrant Visas continue to be processed, the lawmakers are urging the administration to increase the refugee cap to meet the massive humanitarian need.

“As the people of Afghanistan face an unfolding tragedy, the United States must open its doors to refugees fleeing the devastating consequences of a 20-year U.S. military occupation and 40 years of U.S.-fueled war,” said the lawmakers. “To ensure their safety, we urge you to increase the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program cap to no less than 200,000 when you issue your Presidential Determination on Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 before October 1st. We also urge you to expand humanitarian parole to provide refuge to vulnerable Afghans who are in grave danger following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The lawmakers continued, “After decades of disastrous U.S. intervention in Afghanistan, one thing is clear: we have a moral responsibility to provide safe harbor and refuge for the Afghan people. Now, the growing humanitarian crisis is further exposing the horrific costs of our endless wars. The United States must do everything in its power to protect those who have borne the brunt of this decades-long conflict, especially Afghans who are at increased risk of persecution or death by the Taliban…”

“The urgent need to double down on our efforts to welcome and protect refugees is evidenced by the racist, virulent anti-refugee and anti-immigrant sentiment that exploded over the last decade — often as a result of U.S.-fueled wars — and was further heightened under the last administration and now with the evacuations occurring in Afghanistan…”

The Trump administration lowered refugee caps to a historic low of 15,000. During his campaign for President, Joe Biden committed to "set the annual global refugee admissions cap to 125,000, and seek to raise it over time commensurate with our responsibility, our values, and the unprecedented global need." With the emerging threat to hundreds of thousands of Afghans now under Taliban rule, the lawmakers are calling on Biden to uphold that pledge and deliver a significant increase to refugee admissions.

“Mr. President, the time to act to save lives is now,” the lawmakers concluded. “We are ready to work with you to appropriate the necessary funds to be used for humanitarian needs and, specifically, as is necessary is used to ramp up the evacuation and processing of Afghans and others seeking refuge around the world.”

For full text of the letter, click here.

Also Check Out...

2.6 million Black-owned businesses that generate more than $138 billion in revenue annually.
Congress Shouldn’t Raise Taxes On
Sudanese military leaders must immediately and unconditionally release Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
Sudan Prime Minister Now Under
confusion and misinformation about what critical race theory actually is
Cal State Fullerton Hosts Critical
Carmelo Anthony said the best part about passing Moses Malone for No. 9 on the all-time scoring list
Melo Passes Moses Malone, Now 9th
Democratic lawmakers are debating the merits changes in the filibuster rule
Democrats Weigh Filibuster Changes
Phoenix Suns owner Robert Sarver has long been an unpopular figure
Report: Suns Owner Facing