August 02, 2021

Duckworth Helps Welcome Afghans Who Supported American Troops to the United States


Senator thanks Afghans who risked their lives—and their families’ safety—to support U.S. mission in Afghanistan during bipartisan Congressional Delegation visit to Fort Lee

[FORT LEE, VA] – Combat Veteran and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) issued the following statement today after joining a bipartisan Congressional Delegation visit to Fort Lee, Virginia, to help welcome Afghan interpreters and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients relocated to the United States after they put themselves and their families at great risk by supporting the United States mission in Afghanistan.

“For two decades, thousands of Afghans have willingly—bravely—put themselves and their families in great danger in order to support our troops’ mission in their country, and in return our nation made a promise that we would keep them and their loved ones safe. It was an honor to join Senator Ernst along with Representatives Crow and Waltz at Fort Lee this morning to welcome these brave individuals and families and thank them from the bottom of my heart, in person, for their service to the United States.

“Many of these Afghans bled alongside our troops overseas—some were even injured multiple times while supporting our troops—and while I am heartened to have met some of these brave individuals today, there are still thousands who remain in grave danger as we continue our nation’s withdrawal. As a combat Veteran, a U.S. Senator and simply as an American, I know that we can’t leave them behind. It is critical that we keep our promises to all of them, and I will continue working across the aisle and with the Biden Administration to ensure that we do.”

Senator Duckworth, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who served 23 years in the Reserve Forces, has been an outspoken advocate for keeping our nation’s promises to those who’ve helped our efforts in the Middle East. Last week, she called on Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to immediately take action to develop and implement additional means of employment verification for applicants in the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, many of whom have struggled to meet the current verification requirements despite our nation’s promises to protect them if they helped us.