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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan announced it would be suspending visa operations beginning June 13th in response to an increase in the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country. At a time when thousands of Afghans are desperately trying to get their visas processed before the U.S. fully withdraws from the country, the House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican has issued the following statement.

“The health and safety of our diplomatic personnel is a high priority for me. But suspending visa operations at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul at this critical juncture only further exacerbates the situation for those awaiting their Special Immigrant Visas. I have already called on President Biden to direct the Pentagon and the State Department to evacuate any person who has reached a sufficient stage in the security vetting process to a third country to finish their visa processing before the U.S. finishes the military retrograde. With this latest setback in visa processing, I also now believe President Biden should explore the option of humanitarian parole, which has been utilized in past refugee crises, for that same group of Afghans awaiting the final stages of visa processing.

“These Afghans will have a bullseye on their backs from the moment we leave the country. If President Biden abandons them, he is signing their death warrants.”