Congressmen Seth Moulton, Peter Meijer, and With Honor’s CEO Rye Barcott are available for comment. Please contact WHA Digital Director Meagan Whalen at [email protected]
CHARLOTTE, NC – This weekend, With Honor Action partnered with #AfghanEvac to organize a letter signed by 30 prominent retired military officers urging Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA).
Letter signatories include With Honor Action Advisory Board Member Admiral Michael Mullen, the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Generals Richard Myers and Joseph Dunford, the 15th and 19th Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former With Honor Action Advisory Board Member and retired former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Peter Chiarelli, and retired U.S. Army Generals Stanley McChrystal and Austin Scott Miller, each of whom commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The letter comes as pressure from Afghan advocacy and veteran service organizations for passage of the AAA grows. Last week, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy, Jerry Moran, Jeanne Shaheen, and Roger Wicker became co-sponsors of the bill, bringing the total number of Senate cosponsors to ten (5 Democrats, 5 Republicans).
The Afghan Adjustment Act, known in the House as H.R. 8685 and in the Senate as S. 4787, addresses concerns surrounding Afghan evacuee status. Following the hastened evacuations in August of 2021, many of our Afghan allies arrived in the U.S. under temporary humanitarian parole. This has left many in legal limbo, with parole beginning to expire in August of 2023. There are currently only two paths to permanent legal status; the asylum system or the Special Immigrant Visa process (SIV). Both face severe backlogs and long processing times. If passed, the AAA would create a clear third path to lawful permanent residency for those who undergo a robust screening and security vetting process. Additionally, the AAA would improve the SIV process and expand SIV eligibility.
“It’s a sacred commitment that we have, and I don’t just mean former military types. I mean the United States of America,” said Admiral Michael Mullen, USN, Ret., “If anything should be above politics, this should be it. We should make sure that we take care of these people.”
The letter, which has been covered by The Washington Post, CNN, and FOX, argues that the AAA furthers our national security interests while following through on a moral imperative to honor our wartime promises. The letter can be read in full here.
“Our national honor is at stake. Our allies risked their lives to keep American troops safe. We gave them our word and now we are breaking it.,” said Rye Barcott, Co-Founder and CEO of With Honor Action. “The allies we need in the future will remember the choices we make now.”