SD leaders tell D.C. to pass Afghan refugee act

September 29, 2023

Congressman Peters cosponsored the Afghan Adjustment Act because it’s past time to honor our promises to our Afghan allies and provide the support and relief they’ve earned. He thanks #AfghanEvac
and local leaders for continuing to call on Congress to pass this legislation.

Read more about it in this September 22nd piece from Axios, posted below:

SD leaders tell D.C. to pass Afghan refugee act

By Andrew Keatts

September 22, 2023

San Diego elected officials on Thursday demanded their counterparts in Washington, D.C. pass the Afghan Adjustment Act to give Afghan refugees a pathway to permanent residency in the U.S.

Driving the news: San Diego officials from the Assembly, county board of supervisors, three city councils and the county’s largest school district gathered on the USS Midway to urge Congress to pass the act, providing a long-term fix for Afghan refugees who have been under humanitarian parole since U.S. forces withdrew from Kabul two years ago.

Why it matters: Those Afghan refugees, including up to 5,000 who arrived in San Diego County, under humanitarian parole are granted entry into the U.S. temporarily, offering fewer opportunities for housing and aid than those who enter as Special Immigrant Visa holders, or refugees under the federal government’s typical admissions program.

State of play: Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego) cosponsored the Afghan Adjustment Act, which has bipartisan support among members of both the House and Senate, including figures like Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina).

  • “We have the votes,” said Shawn VanDiver, the San Diego-based founder of Afghan Evac, the nonprofit that organized the press conference. “We know that if this gets onto the House floor and the Senate floor, it will pass.”
  • A bipartisan group of 25 state legislators also released a letter Wednesday calling on Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act.

Of note: The Biden administration Thursday extended temporary protections for thousands of Afghan refugees, ensuring they won’t have to return to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan for another 18 months.

What they’re saying: San Diego Councilman Raul Campillo, whose district includes the Afghan Community Islamic Center in Sera Mesa, said the act was imperative for humanitarian and national security reasons.

  • “Of course, I want to make sure my constituents in District 7 are seeing their aunts and uncles, their grandparents, reunited right here in San Diego, where they can continue to build small businesses and provide the public services they’ve already been involved in for decades.

County Supervisor Joel Anderson, whose East County district has for years been home to a massive refugee community, said the bipartisan contingent across levels of government reflects that San Diego “understands these people stood with us, they not only earned it, but they deserve permanent status with a pathway to citizenship.”



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