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Houston, TX – House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul has released the following statement in response to an Inspector General report on the State Department’s handling of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) in Afghanistan. SIVs are issued to Afghans who worked for, or on behalf of, the U.S. government or NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) – work that would often place their lives in jeopardy. Since the Taliban seized back control over the country last year, tens of thousands of vulnerable Afghan allies, who bravely put their lives on the line in support of the U.S. mission, have applied for SIVs to escape the growing threat of Taliban retribution. Unfortunately, many have faced significant bureaucratic hurdles and endless red tape that has left them stranded in a country controlled by terrorists who consider them an enemy because they assisted America and its NATO allies.

“The Inspector General’s report specifically states the State Department’s ‘deficiencies…may have delayed vulnerable Afghan allies from reaching safety in the United States.’ This makes it clear that urgent action by Secretary Blinken and President Biden to fix the significant problems inside the SIV program is necessary and long overdue. The United States pledged to support those who bravely fought alongside our troops, risking their lives for our country. We owe the thousands of qualified Afghan SIV applicants shamefully left behind in the wake of the Biden administration’s chaotic and haphazard withdrawal to fulfill our promise to grant them a way out of Afghanistan and to freedom in the U.S.”