WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3985 the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act.

“Today Congress has sent another message to the courageous Afghans who provided faithful and valuable service while working for or on behalf of the U.S. government: The United States remains committed to your safety, your families, and your future. The passage of today’s legislation will support the Biden-Harris administration’s ongoing efforts to provide those Afghans whose service has put them, and their families, at risk of retribution by the Taliban access to new opportunities in the United States.

“By removing or revising some statutory requirements in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) process, this bill will improve the efficiency of the program while retaining thorough security vetting for each visa recipient. By expediting the SIV process and increasing the total number of visas available by several thousand, this legislation will help meet the demand for  those Afghans currently in the application process as well as those who have yet to apply.”