White Paper: Keeping Our Promise – The Afghan Adjustment Act Strengthens Our National Security
December 20, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Anna Nix Kumar
Washington — The Council on National Security and Immigration (CNSI) today released a white paper looking at the history of status adjustment acts, their success, and the need for swift action on the Afghan Adjustment Act for America to remain a trusted partner and to protect our national security interests.
The paper, authored by CNSI leaders Francis Q. Hoang and Rick “Ozzie” Nelson, details the current state of play following the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, offers the Afghan Adjustment Act as a solution for the Afghan evacuees, and showcases how similar Acts have been successfully implemented in the United States.
"For over two years, our Afghan allies have been left in limbo due to Congress's inability to come together and pass the Afghan Adjustment Act,” said Ozzie Nelson. “It is time for Congressional leaders to fulfill the promise we made to our allies when they risked their lives to protect our national security.”
“The passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act would not be the first time our country uses its legislative power to reward those who helped us during times of war,” said Francis Hoang. “The proven successes of previous adjustment acts should strengthen the calls for Congressional action. Success in future conflicts hinges on whether we can keep our promise.”
Below are excerpts from the paper. To view the paper in its entirety, click here.
Throughout its history, America has relied on allies and foreign partners to meet its national security objectives. These allies often have risked their lives to enable the missions of forward deployed United States service members, intelligence officers, and diplomats. Support for U.S. overseas presence ranges from administrative tasks in an embassy to combat in the field, and foreign nationals who perform these duties are often viewed as an extension of U.S. presence….
The Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA), most recently reintroduced in July 2023, expands eligibility for Special Immigration Visas (SIV) to qualifying Afghan nationals and their families, requires the “gold standard” of vetting processes, and gives our Afghan allies the opportunity to adjust their status and become permanent residents of United States. The bill would benefit America’s Afghan allies and signal to future allies that America keeps its promises. This would, in turn, make others more likely to work and cooperate with America, therefore strengthening U.S.’s national security….
This status-adjusting legislation mirrors a variety of other previous adjustment acts that proved successful. Citizens from Cuba, Vietnam, Iraq, and elsewhere have received a pathway to citizenship from Congress in an adjustment act, helping them better integrate into and enrich American culture and society.