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National Security Leaders Call for Swift Withdrawal of Afghan Women; Support Bipartisan Senate Letter

August 18, 2021

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  On Monday, 46 bipartisan senators sent a letter to the secretaries of State and Homeland Security, calling for the U.S. to protect Afghan women activists and create an interagency coordinator to support this process. The following is a statement from leaders of the Council on National Security and Immigration (CNSI):

“As national security leaders, we remain deeply saddened and angry to see Afghanistan deteriorate so quickly. Tens of thousands of our Afghan allies are now in grave danger and are fearful for their lives under Taliban rule. We support the bipartisan letter sent to Secretaries Blinken and Mayorkas yesterday and are hopeful they will heed the letter’s call for swift action. 

“We join the calls to grant humanitarian parole for Afghan women activists, as reports indicate they are now being hunted by the Taliban. To that end, we agree that an interagency coordinator is needed to ensure these women are evacuated quickly and safely.

“It is our nation’s humanitarian duty to do everything in our power to protect these women who have been supportive of the U.S. for the past two decades. As always, the CNSI stands ready to support the administration in these efforts.”

In May, CNSI called on President Biden to evacuate Afghan nationals and their family members awaiting SIV applications as well as any additional allies eligible for humanitarian protection in the United States to a safe location while their applications processed. Yesterday, CNSI leaders initially responded to the United States’ failed withdrawal from Afghanistan, encouraging the president and Congress to evacuate our Afghan allies and expand and expedite the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa process.

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