Washington, DC— Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) voted in the House of Representatives for the Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs (ALLIES) Act of 2021. The bill passed by a vote of 407-16.

During the nearly 20 years that the United States has been at war in Afghanistan, thousands of translators and guides have helped keep U.S. troops safe. Some of these individuals are eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIV), which would allow them to relocate to the U.S. to avoid violent reprisal against them or their families.

The ALLIES Act expands the number of available SIVs by 8,000, strengthens protections for surviving spouses and children of applicants, streamlines bureaucratic requirements, and makes other technical fixes to improve the program.

“These brave translators and guides put their lives on the line to help our troops. We have a clear, moral obligation to protect them and their families,” said Himes. “This is a fundamental question about who we are as a nation and what we value. It is not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, but it is also vital for our national security that our future allies and potential partners know that we keep our word and live up to our obligations.”

Congressman Himes spoke on the floor of the House prior to the vote. The clip can be found here.

For more information, contact Patrick Malone at Patrick.malone@mail.house.gov.