Washington D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, the Senior Democratic Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, praised the swift passage of legislation extending emergency visas for Iraqis employed by the United States during the Iraq War.

“Even in the midst of the partisan dysfunction which has so consumed Congress, I am glad that we were able to come together to pass this critical piece of legislation. Regardless of one’s position on the Iraq war, we have a moral obligation to help the thousands of Iraqis who risked their lives and the lives of their families to provide invaluable service to the U.S. Many of these individuals who served as interpreters, translators, and in other critical job functions have come under threat for the assistance they provided to the U.S. For us to allow this special visa program to expire when many of these people are still clamoring to leave Iraq would have been unconscionable. I’d like to commend Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer for their strong support and dedication to getting this legislation to the President’s desk.”