US Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the Biden administration needed to move as quickly as possible to raise the number of refugee visas it grants as the US withdraws from Afghanistan. She called for the absolute minimum number of visas to be 200,000.
“I believe we need to move and the administration needs to move as quickly as possible and as expansively as possible ensuring that we are raising the amount of refugee visas to whatever amount is necessary,” the self-described democratic socialist congresswoman told The Independent.
“I would say the rock bottom is 200,000, but I think it should be whatever is necessary,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said. “And that needs to be expedited as soon as possible.”
Ms Ocasio-Cortez voted for legislation that would increase the number of special immigrant visas for Afghan nationals who worked for the US government or NATO missions in Afghanistan. That legislation passed the House with only 16 members voting no. Among the 16 Republicans to vote against the legislation were Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.
But the legislation has yet to pass the Senate and reach President Joe Biden’s desk.
A former adviser for Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign came under fire after he tweeted a photo of a packed US military plane carrying refugees fleeing Kabul with the caption, “raise your hand if you want this plane landing in your town?” Thousands of Afghans who helped the US government during its decades-long occupation remain stranded in the country, facing an uncertain and dangerous future under Taliban rule.
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