Senate Democrats’ supplemental spending bill for Capitol security would also make significant moves to protect Afghan interpreters and refugees as the U.S. military finishes its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The $3.7 billion measure, introduced Monday in response to the Jan. 6 riot, would increase the number of authorized Afghan special immigrant visas from 26,500 to 46,500. The visas are intended to provide a safe haven for Afghan military allies facing retribution in their home country. Advocates estimate that about 18,000 people are currently on the visa waitlist. The measure includes $100 million in “emergency aid” for Afghan refugees, citing UN estimates that 500,000 Afghans will flee their homes in the coming months as the Taliban gains ground in the country.
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posted on: July 16, 2021