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Bilirakis Issues Statement on Afghanistan, Calls For Immediate Action

August 18, 2021
Press Release

Bilirakis Issues Statement on Afghanistan, Calls For Immediate Action

 

Countless patriots answered the call to service and proudly served in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.  Many were severely wounded, and some gave the ultimate sacrifice there.  I share the frustration and anger these Veterans and their families have expressed over President Biden’s disastrous and dangerous retreat.  While we did need to empower Afghans to defend their own country, the reckless manner in which the withdrawal was handled jeopardized our allies and created a chaotic and dangerous situation.  These actions will not only lead to the certain death of innocent Afghans who have partnered with us for 20 years, but have also made our country and the world less safe.  The absence of leadership throughout this process has allowed terrorists to quickly erode the progress that our heroes spent two decades working to achieve.  We have a moral obligation to our allies in Afghanistan and to the Americans stationed there who are in jeopardy.  I am currently working to expedite the removal of Afghan citizens who are now in harm’s way after being deemed “collaborators” for having helped U.S. troops.  Also, I proudly cosponsored the Allies Act of 2021, which passed the House in late July.  The bill increases the number of Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for Afghan interpreters currently targeted by the Taliban and expedites processing of the  SIV requests in the interests of safety. I implore my Senate colleagues to immediately pass this critical legislation, and the Biden Administration to take swift action to stabilize the situation,” said Congressman Gus Bilirakis.