Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 20, 2023 / 10:45 am
Bishop Mark Seitz, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Migration Committee, urged Congress in a letter issued Tuesday to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act granting permanent asylum to individuals and families who helped U.S. service members during the war and are now under threat after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.
The act was introduced in both the Senate and House on July 13 and would “provide support for nationals of Afghanistan who supported the United States’ mission in Afghanistan” and grant an “adjustment of [immigration] status for eligible individuals to support at-risk Afghan allies and relatives of certain members of the armed forces.”
Speaking for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Seitz, who is the bishop of El Paso, Texas, said the act’s “passage is a moral imperative for a country such as ours that embraces both freedom and the rule of law.”
“Many of those who would benefit from the Afghan Adjustment Act served alongside U.S. service members in Afghanistan or are the family members of those individuals,” Seitz explained. “Return to Afghanistan is not a realistic option for them, but their ability to remain in the United States permanently and participate fully in our society is severely limited under current law.”