New American Pathways is monitoring the changing situation in Afghanistan and is greatly concerned for the wellbeing and safety of the Afghan people, particularly the over 18,000 Special Immigrant Visa applicants and their families who assisted the US Military as interpreters and other roles. The SIV application process, which is supposed to take 9 months, has been taking 2-3 years, leaving these individuals in a vulnerable and unsafe position. Now, with the collapse of the Afghan government, the situation for SIV applicants is even more dire.
We call on the Biden Administration to save these families’ lives by swiftly evacuating them to safe locations to continue their application process. To leave these individuals in such a vulnerable situation in Afghanistan is devastating. We ask advocates to join us in reaching out to your Congresspeople and the Biden administration to demand they prioritize the evacuations of these individuals and their families.
New American Pathways has a long history of working with Special immigrant Visa holders and their families in Georgia through initial resettlement and beyond. We are ready to welcome these families and are proud to be part of bringing people to safety here in Atlanta. We appreciate the support we are getting from the Atlanta community at this time as many are ready to join us in providing a welcome to these new Americans.
It is a helpless feeling to watch the news and not know what to do to support our Afghan allies, but we have several ways you can get involved.
1. Volunteer at New American Pathways to support refugees in Georgia. Go to www.newamericanpathways.org/get-involved to begin the volunteer process and for other ways you can give to support Afghan SIV’s. (8.20.21 UPDATE: We are so grateful for the outpouring of support! Our upcoming volunteer orientation is full but we will be releasing more dates soon!)
2. Give to New American Pathways as we prepare to welcome more Afghan SIVs in the coming months. You can make a financial donation here, or make a purchase from our Amazon wish list here. Select “New American Pathways Advancement” for the shipping address.
3. Connect with The Welcome Co-op to learn how you and your faith community or workplace can partner with us to welcome SIV Families in the coming months. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org (8.20.21 UPDATE: The Welcome Co-op has received so many inquiries! Thank you so much, and please be patient with us, we will get back to you, it may just be a little delayed)
4. Contact your Members of Congress and the Biden Administration and demand they prioritize the evacuation of Afghan SIV applicants and other vulnerable Afghans. You can also request that they:
- Support and pass the HOPE for Afghan SIVs Act, which eliminates the burdensome medical examination requirement for SIVs
- Raise the cap on SIVs to 46,500 visas
- Overhaul the process for SIV denials
- Provide SIV status to the family of murdered applicants.
With Congress in recess, now is a good time to see your representative in person or virtually as they often hold in-district meetings and events while they are at home.
Here is a sample script for you to use when calling.
“Hello, my name is _______, and I am a resident of _______, GA. I am very concerned for the safety of Afghan SIV applicants who remain in Afghanistan after the government collapse this weekend. These allies have sacrificed the safety of themselves and their families to support the U.S. military. It is now time to protect them as they face imminent, immediate threat from the Taliban. First, we must urge the Biden administration to evacuate all of our Afghan allies. Secondly, we must improve and expedite the SIV program for Afghan nationals who have supported the U.S. military. We must push the Biden administration to provide a comprehensive evacuation plan that prioritizes the safety of the Afghan allies and others who are vulnerable. Thank you. “
Senator Jon Ossoff: 202 224-3521
Senator Raphael Warnock: (202) 224-3643
To find your representative, please visit this link.