1219. SENSE OF CONGRESS.
(b) PURPOSE.—Expressing the Sense of the House or Representatives
that the Special Immigration Visa programs authorized in the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 and the
Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 are critical to the U.S. national
security, and that these programs must be reformed and extended
in order to meet the Congressional intent with which they
(b) FINDINGS.—Congress finds the following:
(1) Congress created the Special Immigration Visa program
for the purposes of protecting and aiding the many brave
Iraqis and Afghans whose lives, and the lives of their families,
were endangered as a result of their faithful and valuable service
to the United States during Operations Enduring Freedom
and Iraqi Freedom.
(2) The Iraq Special Immigrant Visa program is set to expire
at the end of fiscal year 2013.
(3) The Afghanistan Special Immigrant Visa program is set
to expire at the end of fiscal year 2014.
(4) Despite the pending expiration of the Special Immigrant
Visa programs, many brave Iraqis, Afghans, and their families,
continue to face ongoing and serious threats as a result of their
employment by or on behalf of the U.S. Government.
(5) Between FY08-FY12, only 22 percent of the available
Iraqi SIVs (5,500 visas out of 25,000 visas) have been issued
and 12 percent of the available Afghan SIVs (1,051 visas out
of 8,500 visas) have been issued.
(6) As the Washington Post reported in October 2012, over
5,000 documentarily complete Afghan SIV applications remained
in a backlog.
(7) The implementation of the Special Immigration Visa programs
has been protracted and inefficient.
The application and approval process for the Special Immigration
Visa program is unnecessarily opaque and difficult
(9) Applicants in both Iraq and Afghanistan often have effusive
recommendations from numerous military personnel, have
served the U.S. war efforts for many years, and have served
valiantly, in some instances literally taking a bullet for a U.S.
service member, and yet are denied approval for a Special Immigration
Visa with little to no transparency.
(10) Overly narrow provisions contained in the Afghan Allies
Protection Act of 2009 leave many deserving Afghans and their
families in need of U.S. assistance, but unable to access the
Special Immigration Visa program.
(11) The United States has a responsibility to follow through
on its promise to protect those Iraqis and Afghans who have
risked their lives to aid our troops and protect America’s security.
(12) The extension and reform of the Iraq and Afghanistan
Special Immigrant Visa programs is a matter of national security.
(13) The extension and reform of the Afghan Special Immigrant
Visa program is essential to the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.
(c) SENSE OF THE HOUSE.—It is the sense of the House of Representatives
that the Iraq and Afghanistan Special Immigrant Visa
programs should be—
(1) reformed by—
(A) ensuring applications are processed in a timely, and
(B) providing parity between the two Special Immigrant
Visa programs so that Afghan principal applicants, like
Iraqi principal applicants, are able to include their spouse,
children, siblings, and parents; and
(C) expanding eligibility for the Special Immigrant Visa
programs to Afghan or Iraqi men and women employed by,
or on behalf of, a media or nongovernmental organization
headquartered in the United States, or an organization or
entity closely associated with the United States mission in
Iraq or Afghanistan that has received U.S. Government
funding through an official and documented contract,
award, grant, or cooperative agreement; and
(2) extended in—
(A) Iraq through the year 2018, without authorizing any
additional Special Immigrant Visas as authorized in the
original statue; and
(B) Afghanistan through the year 2018, without authorizing
any additional Special