Crow Pushes Biden Administration to Protect Afghan Interpreters and Contractors in First House Armed Services Committee Hearing Since Announcement of Afghanistan Withdrawal Deadline

May 12, 2021
Press Release
Crow Created the Bipartisan Honoring our Promises Working Group to Ensure Administration Expedites Special Immigrant Visas and U.S. Refugee Admissions Programs

WASHINGTON - In the first House Armed Services Committee hearing on the topic since the Biden Administration announced the September 11th deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan, Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06) pushed the Administration to protect Afghan interpreters and contractors who are now at risk. 

Crow drew from his own military service in Iraq and Afghanistan, crediting the local interpreters he worked with for his survival and the military’s success. Crow also told the story of Mohammad, an Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicant, who worked for US forces for twelve years, and first applied for a SIV in 2010. Mohammed’s application was subject to years of wrongful rejections and delays. 

Rep. Crow seated at HASC hearing

WATCH VIDEO CLIP OF HIS TESTIMONY HERE

Crow said, “On January 27th of this year, Mohammed was driving to work with his 10-year-old son when a Taliban vehicle stopped in front of him, assassins jumped out and gunned him down in front of his son.

All the while, those assassins yelled out, “Where are the American forces to save you? Where are their helicopters? Where are their airplanes? . . .You helped them for a decade! Where are they now?”

In April, Crow led a bipartisan effort calling on President Biden to expedite SIV and the U.S. Refugee Admissions Programs for Afghan citizens who have worked to support U.S. operations in Afghanistan. The bipartisan group of lawmakers also created the ‘Honoring our Promises Working Group’ to expedite legislative efforts. 

A transcript of his remarks from today are below. Watch the video of his remarks here.

As an Army Ranger and a Paratrooper, I served both in Iraq and Afghanistan. In both places, I worked very closely with local Iraqi and Afghan interpreters, contractors, and others, without whom I may not be here today. And without whom we could not have accomplished our mission and done our work.

I want to tell the story very briefly about a man named Mohammad, who spent the last twelve years helping US forces in Afghanistan. Mohammed had applied for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) in 2010. He was denied repeatedly. Delays stopped the visa from being processed. 

On January 27th of this year, Mohammed was driving to work with his 10-year-old son when a Taliban vehicle stopped in front of him, assassins jumped out and gunned him down in front of his son.

All the while, those assassins yelled out, “Where are the American forces to save you? Where are their helicopters? Where are their airplanes? . . .You helped them for a decade! Where are they now?”

Mohammed is dead. A couple weeks later, his eldest son received this death threat from the Taliban. He and others like him will soon die unless we act.

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