‘Our job is not done’: How women veterans in Congress continue to help Afghan refugees

These policymakers are pressing the Biden administration to protect Afghan refugees, specifically women and children.

By Mariel Padilla

When Rep. Chrissy Houlahan met a small Afghan child while visiting a military base housing thousands of refugees, she was struck by how this girl’s journey mirrored that of her own father. Houlahan’s father, a Holocaust survivor, was about 5 years old when he fled Poland with his mother and found refuge in the United States.

“The concern about women and girl refugees has been pressing on me since I joined Congress, and certainly well before then,” said Houlahan, a Pennsylvania Democrat who took office in 2019 and said her prior military service impacts her work. “We have been involved in a war for the better part of 20 years … Many of us continue to be concerned about the refugees: those still left behind, those who are here and those who are still able to be relocated here.”

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