Rep. Mike Garcia, whose 25th Congressional District includes the Antelope Valley, is leading the “For Country Caucus,” — a nonpartisan group of 25 congressional veterans calling on President Biden to disregard his withdrawal date from Afghanistan and commit to evacuating all Americans and Afghan allies.
The veteran lawmakers sent a letter to Biden stating that a central value of military service is to “leave no one behind” and that self-imposed deadlines of withdrawal should not prohibit protecting Americans and U.S. allies.
“We write today to ask you to commit to evacuating all Americans and Afghan partners. Given the rapidly changing situation on the ground, deadlines imposed by others should not guide the evacuation of our fellow Americans and those whose support for our mission in Afghanistan has placed them and their families in grave danger,” the For Country Caucus members wrote.
The veteran lawmakers stressed the need to keep the Hamid Karzai International Airport under American control for evacuations, and the need to allow American citizens, legal permanent residents, green card holders, and all Afghans who worked with the United States—regardless of their present VISA status – to receive assistance in evacuating.
“This is about more than doing the right thing. This is a national security imperative. The eyes of the world are watching whether we will stand by our friends. We must show the world that we will live up to our values and promises,” the For Country Caucus members wrote.
“Your administration will have broad support from America’s veterans in the challenging task of evacuating our Afghan partners. To many of us, these Afghan partners have names and faces,” the For Country Caucus members wrote. “They fought with us and served shoulder-to-shoulder with us for decades to help us achieve our mission and come home to our families. We view it as a personal and moral imperative to do the same for them now. Veterans will support a decision to ensure that we do not leave our Afghan comrades behind.”
The veteran lawmakers concluded the letter asking that Biden not finish the American drawdown in Afghanistan until all American citizens and Afghan partners are evacuated.
Garcia said his office is working on more than 100 cases to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan. Constituents aware of Americans or allies trapped in Afghanistan are encouraged to contact Garcia’s office at 661-568-4855.
[Information via news release from the office of Rep. Mike Garcia.]