August 20, 2021

Chairman Menendez Statement on Qatar’s Efforts to Help House Afghans Seeking Refuge in the United States

Senator calls for increased international cooperation to help protect Afghan civil society members, journalists, and others at risk of Taliban Violence

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the government of Qatar’s recent efforts to help house Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, refugees, and other at risk groups seeking refuge in the United States:

“As the world grapples with the mounting toll of the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan, we must not waste any time in living up to our best values and embracing our responsibility to resettle as many refugees as possible, particularly those who risked their lives and the lives of their family members to stand along the United States' efforts to defeat terrorism. I am grateful to see our friends and allies in Qatar be moral exemplars by accepting Afghans ultimately seeking safe haven in the U.S. after being forced to escape for their lives.

"We must put every effort into finding pathways for credible Afghan civil society members, journalists, and others at risk of Taliban violence, and I will closely follow the Biden administration's efforts to dispatch more U.S. personnel to Qatar to scale up and expedite Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) applications as well as other complementary pathways for protection. 

“Our collective task to protect and resettle Afghan SIVs, refugees, and other at risk groups is not only a moral clarion call but sends a strong message about the United States’ commitment to our promises and our values. We know the indisputable truth that nations that have welcomed refugees throughout history have strengthened their communities, bolstered their economies and advanced their foreign policy interests. We must continue coming together in global solidarity and remember those among us who have experienced the utmost dangers and deserve to be treated with dignity and humanity.”

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Juan Pachon