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H.R. 6198 (117th): Continued Support for Afghan Allies Act


The text of the bill below is as of Dec 8, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 6198

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 8, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To increase support for Afghan special immigrant visa and refugee applicants, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Continued Support for Afghan Allies Act.

2.

Support for Afghan Special Immigrant Visa and Refugee Applicants

(a)

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that the United States should increase support for nationals of Afghanistan who aided the United States mission in Afghanistan during the past twenty years and are now under threat from the Taliban, specifically special immigrant visa applicants who are nationals of Afghanistan and referrals of nationals of Afghanistan to the United States Refugee Admissions Program, including through the Priority 2 Designation for nationals of Afghanistan, who remain in Afghanistan or are in third countries.

(b)

Requirements

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall—

(1)

prioritize for evacuation from Afghanistan bona fide special immigrant visa applicants who are nationals of Afghanistan and referrals of nationals of Afghanistan to the United States Refugee Admissions Program, including through the Priority 2 Designation for nationals of Afghanistan;

(2)

facilitate the rapid departure of such individuals from Afghanistan by air charter and land passage;

(3)

provide letters of support, diplomatic notes and other documentation, as appropriate, to ease transit of such individuals;

(4)

engage governments of relevant countries to better facilitate evacuation;

(5)

disseminate frequent updates to such individuals and relevant nongovernmental organizations;

(6)

identify or establish sufficient locations outside of Afghanistan that will accept such individuals during application processing; and

(7)

further surge capacity to better support such individuals and reduce their application processing times, while ensuring strict and necessary security vetting, including, to the extent practicable, enabling refugee referrals to initiate application processes while still in Afghanistan.

(c)

Strategy and reporting

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the heads of other relevant Federal departments and agencies, shall submit to the committees on Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Homeland Security, and Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the committees on Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and Armed Services of the Senate the following:

(1)

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, a strategy, with a classified annex if necessary, to safely process nationals of Afghanistan abroad who have pending special immigrant visa applications and refugee referrals, which strategy shall include steps by the United States Government to carry out each of paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (b).

(2)

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every month thereafter until December 31, 2022, a report, with a classified annex if necessary, that includes the following:

(A)

The number of nationals of Afghanistan—

(i)

referred to the United States Refugee Admissions Program through Priority 1 and Priority 2 referrals, including whether such individuals remain in Afghanistan or outside Afghanistan, and the number of refugee applications for such individuals that are approved, denied, and pending; and

(ii)

who have pending special immigrant visa applications who remain in Afghanistan or in a third country, disaggregated by the special immigrant visa processing steps completed with respect to such individuals.

(B)

Steps taken to implement each element of the strategy described in paragraph (1).