September 29, 2021

Following Duckworth Request, DoD and State Improve SIV Employment Verification to Help Process Afghan Allies More Quickly


[WASHINGTON, DC] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) who served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years, commended the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of State for responding to her request and taking steps to more swiftly verify employment and process Afghan allies who have applied for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.

“I’m pleased that the Department of Defense—in coordination with the Department of State—has taken important steps to improve the employment verification process for our Afghan allies and their families so we can more quickly get these folks to safety,” said Duckworth. “Keeping our word to Afghan nationals who upheld American values and bled alongside our troops in combat must continue to be a diplomatic and national security priority. I am deeply committed to doing right by those Afghan nationals who did right by our troops – often at great danger, cost and sacrifice to themselves and their loved ones.”

In July, after learning of and encountering problems with the efficiency of employment verification for applicants in the SIV program, Duckworth wrote to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin asking them to take immediate action to fix the problem. This week, DoD responded to Duckworth’s request to confirm they have taken steps to in line with her suggestions to improve the process through Project Rabbit, a program designed to simplify the employment verification process for Afghan employees who have applied for a SIV.