WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement on the end of the war in Afghanistan.
“The final withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan is an opportunity to reflect upon the sacrifices made by our troops and their families over the past 20 years, and a painful reminder of the tragic cost of endless war and military intervention.
“While President Biden’s decision to end the war in Afghanistan was a difficult one, it was necessary and long overdue. Over the past two decades, the war and military occupation in Afghanistan have resulted in the tragic deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghan civilians and U.S. servicemembers, and has cost more than $2 trillion.
“As we turn the page on this dark chapter in American history, we must center diplomatic efforts to establish a peaceful region and provide safe harbor and refuge for the Afghan people who are at increased risk of persecution or death by the Taliban, including allies, activists, students, journalists, women and girls. That means expanding and expediting as many Special Immigrant Visas and Priority 2 visas as possible, increasing the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program cap to at least 200,000, and leveraging every resource available to keep families together and safely resettle them. Further, we must ensure that any American citizens in Afghanistan, who are seeking to leave the country, make a safe return to the United States.
“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts 7th must open our doors to Afghan refugees, and I stand ready to work with Governor Baker, our mayors, and the Biden Administration to provide resettlement opportunities to as many refugees as possible. The Commonwealth grieves for Massachusetts own Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo who was so deeply loved by her family and community. May the compassion she showed as she rescued thousands in her final days be the model of courage and conviction that defines Massachusetts’ role in the work of refugee resettlement and support ahead.”
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