AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

AILA Urges the Biden Administration to Extend the Afghan Troop Withdrawal Date to Guarantee Safe Passage for All

8/24/21 AILA Doc. No. 21082406.

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, August. 24, 2021
Contact: George Paul Tzamaras 202-507-7649

WASHINGTON D.C. — As the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan continues to unfold with scenes of panic and desperation playing out daily at the airport in Kabul, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) urges the Biden administration to extend the U.S. troop withdrawal date beyond August 31 to ensure the evacuation of all U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, Afghan special immigrants, and other at-risk Afghans. The U.S. has a moral obligation to ensure safe passage to our nationals and the Afghans who served alongside U.S. servicemembers, diplomats, and aid workers during the last 20 years.

AILA President Allen Orr said, “The Biden administration cannot leave Afghanistan until it has evacuated all U.S. nationals and at-risk Afghans—including allies, human rights defenders, women, religious minorities, and LGTBQ+ people. The U.S. must create safe passage corridors, keep the evacuation process ongoing and maintain operations at the Kabul airport for as long as necessary to honor our commitment to those who served our country. The decision to pull out our troops by August 31 has placed thousands of men, women, and children in peril.”

Mahsa Khanbabai, Co-Chair of AILA’s Afghan Response Task Force, added, “Over the past ten days, AILA members from across the country have mobilized and been working around the clock assisting families and individuals impacted by the developments in Afghanistan. However, to help all those individuals in need, the administration must extend the August 31 deadline and provide humanitarian relief and resettlement to the Afghans seeking refuge in the United States. That was the president’s explicit promise, and there is no way to deliver that promise by the 31st.”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.