Shaheen Bill Would Allow 4,000 Visas for Afghan Refugees

May 8, 2018

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire's senior Senator, speaks at UNH Law School in this file photo.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., has introduced a bill that would authorize 4,000 additional visas for Afghans who have supported the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

The bill would further extend the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program for the next fiscal year, helping Afghan interpreters and support staffers who face threats as a result of their service to apply for refuge in the United States. It also would strengthen the program's vetting process.

Shaheen, a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, said that continued authorization of the program remains critical, given the Trump Administration's decision to deploy several thousand additional U.S. military personnel to Afghanistan last year.

Shaheen helped secure 3,500 visas for the current fiscal year for Afghan civilians aiding U.S. forces, alongside Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain.