Bethany Christian Services Applauds Bipartisan Introduction of Afghan Adjustment Act
August 10, 2022
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Bethany Christian Services praised the bipartisan introduction of the Afghan Adjustment Act in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, urging its swift passage through Congress and further action by President Biden to sign the bill into law.
“Over the last year, Afghan individuals and families who arrived in the United States after fleeing from persecution and death have been deeply concerned about what their futures hold. The limited two-year status they were granted as humanitarian parolees, instead of refugees, has put their fate into limbo–we’ve witnessed tangible fear among families who worked alongside us overseas and want to make the U.S. their permanent home,” said Chris Palusky, President and CEO of Bethany Christian Services. “The bipartisan Afghan Adjustment Act signals to our Afghan allies that their sacrifices on our behalf are seen and honored by our nation. As we urge swift action by Congress and the President, Bethany will continue working with churches and communities across our nation to tangibly serve our neighbors who long for peace, stability, and security.”
The Afghan Adjustment Act allows Afghans with temporary humanitarian parole status to apply for permanent legal status, as well as expands Special Immigrant Visa (“SIV”) eligibility for Afghans who worked and served alongside U.S. forces.
“Tens of thousands of Afghans have fled their homes since American troops were withdrawn from Afghanistan one year ago this month. We’ve heard stories of families fearfully approaching Taliban checkpoints on the way to the airport not knowing if they would make it through, hiding in safe houses and going without food or water while they waited for a green light to be evacuated. Many risked their lives to work alongside our nation as allies and friends and went through unfathomable hardship to make it to the U.S. The U.S. providing Afghans with limited temporary legal status was a start for their new futures, but also left their long-term fates up in the air, said Liz Van Zyl, Vice President of Government Affairs at Bethany Christian Services. “This bipartisan action by Congress represents the heart of the American people as our communities across the country have partnered together to meet their needs. We urge the House and Senate to pass this crucial piece of legislation and for President Biden to quickly sign it into law, so we can finally put to rest much of the ambiguity and stress our neighbors have been facing since they fled from their homes."