By Corinne Murdock
Last month, Representatives Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) voted against expediting visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act (ALLIES) Act applies to Afghans that assisted the U.S. in the war: this includes interpreters, contractors, and security.
The ALLIES Act ensured that Afghans could receive special immigrant visas more quickly by removing certain application requirements, namely the proof that the applicant was currently experiencing or had experienced an ongoing serious threat due to their employment with the U.S. government. Instead, Afghans could apply if they believed there existed the possibility of a serious threat. The act also increased the number of available visas by 11,000.
Gosar explained that he is more focused on bringing Americans home safely. He argued that this should be the first and only priority, before assisting Afghans.
“How many US citizens are trapped in Afghanistan? I don’t see reliable info on this. It’s critical we get our people out safely,” said Gosar. “It’s not critical to use planes to bring Afghans here. To see our transports full of illegal aliens and not US citizens is immoral.”
Although the ALLIES Act was introduced in a bipartisan manner, 16 House Republicans voted against the measure.
In addition to Gosar and Biggs, “no” votes on the ALLIES Act included Representatives Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), Mo Brooks (R-AL-05), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Bob Good (R-VA-05), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14), Kevin Hern (R-OK-01), Jody Hice (R-GA-10), Thomas Massie (R-KY-04), Barry Moore (R-AL-02), Scott Perry (R-PA-10), Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Matthew Rosendale (R-MT), and Chip Roy (R-TX-21).