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You are here News Military ‘These people had our backs’: US veterans lobby to rescue allies trapped in Afghanistan

‘These people had our backs’: US veterans lobby to rescue allies trapped in Afghanistan

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Vets protest for Afghans who helped USA group of 12 people sit in camp chairs – chatting, smoking, listening – in the dark. Behind them, the Capitol building in Washington DC is luminescent, bringing into focus the Afghan flag. Well, the version of the flag before the Taliban changed it. It flies above their heads, catching the yellowy light of dusk.

Since Kabul fell to the Taliban in August last year, military veterans and organizations have been lobbying Congress to offer Afghan evacuees long-term visas to stay in the US. Now, with no action taken and thousands coming to the end of their temporary stays, a different route is being taken to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act. This bipartisan bill would grant thousands of Afghans permanent status in the US.

If cleared by additional security checks, Afghans who supported the US mission in Afghanistan or were evacuated after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban last August will be given long-term authorization to stay.

“By sitting out here, we are trying to hold Congress accountable,” said Matt Zeller, a US army veteran and co-founder of No One Left Behind, an organization that advocates for special immigrant visa programs for foreign employees of the US.

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