The Democratic-controlled House this week passed a continuing resolution that included language requested by the White House that would fund the resettlement effort of tens of thousands of Afghans to the tune of $6.3 billion, while also giving a timetable for them to be eligible for green cards.
The continuing resolution was passed to fund the government until December 3rd and for lawmakers to pass a budget FY 2022.. It passed the House on a 220-211 vote. It is possible that the Senate will vote on Monday.
It includes $28.6 billion for disaster relief, an increase of the debt limit, and $6.3 billion for the Afghan evacuation process — which the administration has said expects to see 95,000 refugees brought to the U.S. over the next year. This money will be used to shelter evacuees in facilities and for humanitarian aid, screening, resettlement, as well as providing humanitarian assistance.
“As the Chairwoman of State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee I’m pleased to see that the bill contains $6.3 billion for Afghan evacuees. This includes funding to assist Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries and resettling them in the United States.
“At least 18.4 million people in Afghanistan require humanitarian assistance due to the conflict, severe drought, and the COVID pandemic. Not only do we have the moral obligation to offer safe harbour to vulnerable Afghans, who are afraid for their lives but also to help those in Afghanistan that need it. “
But Republicans had raised concerns over parts of the White House’s proposal that all Afghan refugees can apply for green cards after one year in the U.S., if they entered between July 2021 or September 2022..
The House bill gives the Department of Homeland Security 150 days to make a decision on an asylum application submitted by an Afghan evacuee. After a year ., an asylee can apply for a Green Card if they are granted asylum.
The Secretary of Homeland Security will approve background screening and screening. They are also eligible for the same benefits as refugees.
The definition of “Afghan evacuee” is defined as “a person whose evacuation from Afghanistan to the United States, or a location overseas controlled by the United States, was facilitated by the United States as part of Operation Allies Refuge.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., had accused President Biden of trying “to award unlimited green cards to people who didn’t serve alongside our troops and who may even threaten our safety and health — all while exempting them from the normal refugee screening process.”
A Republican Study Committee memo had warned that the proposals would give any unvetted Afghan national flown into the United States between July 31, 2021 and the end of the next fiscal year lifetime welfare and a path to citizenship. “
Former senior Trump White House adviser Stephen Miller called the language in the House bill “breathtaking in scope. “
“This bill, a mass immigration bill from Afghanistan,” Miller stated in an interview on Fox News Saturday. It has nothing to do the U.S. government’s prior services, and nothing to do Special Immigrant Visas. Whatever your opinion of this program may be — it is a mass immigration bill from Afghanistan. “
Miller said that continuing resolutions, which are frequently renewed every year, are “eternal”, meaning that the language can be extended for many years.
” Few Americans believe that legislation intended to continue government spending should include extraordinary immigration provisions. The purpose of a CR, he said, is to maintain the status quo. However it is not possible to agree on substantive matters in the time available. Therefore you should avoid including in the continuing resolution controversial topics. “
The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces a close vote. Miller stated that it was the responsibility of Republicans to press moderate Democrats into breaking ranks.
‘ It is up to Republicans to elevate these issues, and I hope they do,” Miller said.