Leahy, 45 senators urge Biden admin to protect Afghan women leaders following Taliban takeover

Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has joined Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) in a bipartisan letter signed by 46 senators to urge the Biden administration to take swift action to protect and support Afghan women leaders facing unparalleled danger following the Taliban’s violent sweep across Afghanistan and seizure of Kabul.

Find a copy of the letter HERE and below.

Dear Secretary Blinken and Secretary Mayorkas:

In their bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, the senators, also including Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), called on the Administration to create a humanitarian parole category specifically for women leaders, activists, human rights defenders, parliamentarians, journalists, and members of the Female Tactical Platoon of the Afghan Special Security Forces, and to streamline the paperwork process to facilitate referrals to allow for fast, humane, and efficient relocation to the United States.

“We and our staff are receiving regular reports regarding the targeting, threatening, kidnapping, torturing, and assassinations of women for their work defending and promoting democracy, equality, higher education, and human rights. While we welcomed the expansion of the eligibility requirements for Special Immigrant Visas and the creation of the Priority 2 category in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, we must also protect those women who might fall through the cracks of the U.S. Government’s response,” the senators wrote, raising concerns over reports of rampant war crimes – including public beatings and flogging of women, sexual violence, and forced marriage – in areas captured by the Taliban. “We greatly appreciate your efforts to help save the lives of Afghans who have advanced U.S. and Afghan joint interests over the last generation, standing for peace, democracy, and equality. We are all in agreement that we owe them our unqualified support.”

In addition to expressing their support for the Administration’s efforts to evacuate those who are applying for humanitarian parole and those applying for Priority 1 or 2 pathways, including by allocating seats for them on SIV evacuation flights, the senators urged the Administration to increase processing capacity within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and to immediately appoint an interagency refugee coordinator.

“Particularly for women who are currently targets — even hunted by Taliban fighters who are going house-to-house with their names — the path to protection and safety under the Priority 2 designation is not accessible,” the senators added. “While we understand there is little processing capacity at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, for these women to access a third country for processing is almost or completely impossible with all borders crossings now closed or controlled by the Taliban.”

As the situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorates and the Taliban has taken control of Kabul, we appreciate the urgent measures you and the Department of Defense are taking to protect Afghan women leaders and others most at risk for retaliation by the Taliban.

We strongly urge you to create a humanitarian parole category specifically for women leaders, activists, human rights defenders, judges, parliamentarians, journalists, and members of the Female Tactical Platoon of the Afghan Special Security Forces and to streamline the paperwork process to facilitate referrals to allow for fast, humane, and efficient relocation to the United States.  We also urge you to increase processing capacity within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and to immediately appoint an interagency refugee coordinator.  We support your efforts to evacuate those who are applying for humanitarian parole and those applying for Priority 1 or 2 pathways, including by allocating seats for them on SIV evacuation flights.  Finally, the United States should do everything possible to enable charter flights to safely land at and depart the airport even after U.S. Embassy personnel have been evacuated, and that clear instructions for safely accessing their aircraft are provided to those who are trying to depart and to organizations that have referred people and their dependents.

We are gravely concerned about the safety of women leaders, activists, judges, parliamentarians, and human rights defenders.  The shocking violence and alleged atrocities occurring have caused mass displacement which, during a global pandemic and severe drought, has created a major humanitarian crisis.  In areas captured by the Taliban, there are reports of war crimes including summary executions, public beatings and flogging of women, sexual violence and forced marriage, as well as clampdowns on media and other forms of communication.

We and our staff are receiving regular reports regarding the targeting, threatening, kidnapping, torturing, and assassinations of women for their work defending and promoting democracy, equality, higher education, and human rights.  While we welcomed the expansion of the eligibility requirements for Special Immigrant Visas and the creation of the Priority 2 category in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, we must also protect those women who might fall through the cracks of the U.S. Government’s response.

Particularly for women who are currently targets—even hunted by Taliban fighters who are going house-to-house with their names—the path to protection and safety under the Priority 2 ­­­ that we owe them our unqualified support.

Joining Senators Menendez and Shaheen in signing the letter were Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).  foreign

Image courtesy of Senate.gov
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19 thoughts on “Leahy, 45 senators urge Biden admin to protect Afghan women leaders following Taliban takeover

  1. Senator Mumbles can blovate all he wants, but he and the other two members of Vermont’s congressional delegation share responsibility for the debacle presently in Afghanistan. Whether thru previous congressional votes or their continued backing of biden, they bear the same responsibility for these events and loss of life. Leahy is as responsible for inaction as biden is for wrong action. As chair of the Appropriations committee, Leahy has stuck his nose where it didn’t belong when it suited him.
    Now he is helping to circle the wagons around a corrupt crony.

  2. It’s not easy for old timers in Congress to play apologist for one of their own, who now
    occupies the White House…yet they do it without admitting his failures. As has been pointed out
    since the 2020 elections, throughout his long and unremarkable career in the Senate, Biden has consistently been on the wrong side of history on every foreign policy decision he has ever made.

  3. This admin had plenty of time to get the VISA’s in order and to evacuate all Americans. But as is obvious by now, there is no leadership in the White House right now. Has anyone ever looked at his daily schedule? It is like nothing I have ever seen before. There are about 10K AMERICANS left over there right now – not even including the Afgans who worked with us. This was probably the biggest debacle of our lifetime and completely avoidable. Anyone who (legitimately) voted for this guy should be imprisoned or shot.

  4. when you cut and run and hide out – it is very difficult to defend anyone else… Kind of too late

  5. Senator Leahy and the 45 other Senators are several months too late and constructive ideas short in offering advice to protect the Afghanis………..Our esteemed elected leaders are suppose to anticipate and prevent problems.

    Senator Leahy, the foxes are already in the hen house……Your advice is too little and too late.

  6. The one thing that can be said for the Islamist militants is that they really know how to handle their females.

  7. TRANCE FORMATION OF AMERICA by Cathy O’Brien outs this guy for the perverted criminal politician he is. “Special interests” about covers it.

  8. If Pat and his loyal liberals were so concerned maybe they shouldn’t have voted for a sponge for president. Our own governor, a (republican In Name Only) also voted for this disgrace of a titular Head because of Trumps so called mean texts. That shows some real critical thinking, right there. America has to wait out this Nightmare in hopes that some miracle will put an end to the destruction the democrats are doing to our country. As we are now the disgraced laughing stock of the world, those of you who voted for this should be real proud of what you have brought to our country. All the blood, lives and limb lost for what? So the military industrial complex and politicians could play war with no intention of winning. Shame!!!!! Our country is being led by old fools, corruptocrats and sellouts for the bounty they received to enrich themselves and boost their egos while people die for their boondoggles. Does anyone care what Pat says about this? He should retire and so should Peter and Bernie. The new three stooges and just as old but not funny. The DC retirement home for has been politicians who refuse to gracefully leave. And Nancy Too! I thought they would have taken care of her back in Salem!

    • Dano,

      The Dem/Prog elites KNEW Biden, who had been in Washington for 47 YEARS
      They told him to hide in the basement, while they would be busy fixing the election
      Now, he is hiding at Camp David

      He graduated near the bottom of his class at Syracuse Law School, one of the lowest-ranked in the US
      Never uttering a coherent sentence to the Press, without a teleprompter.

      The elite WANTED a dysfunctional sponge for president, so they could enact the Bernie/AOC/Schumer/Pelosi extremist Socialist/Communist agenda, including Pelosi’s

      NO ID VOTING,
      VOTE 24/7 DURING A LONG ELECTION SEASON
      VOTE EVERYONE: CHILDREN, CRIMINALS, ILLEGALS
      VOTE DEAD PEOPLE
      VOTE MOVED-OUT-OF STATE PEOPLE.

      All that led to the SWAMP getting the US into Afghanistan many years ago.

      • Dano,

        There is fraud during every election to “swing” close elections, such as the common STANDARD fraud practices of:

        1) Ballot box stuffing while no one is looking
        2) Voting dead people
        3) Voting moved-out-of-state people, etc.
        4) Voting temporary, out-of-state students

        JFK was elected with major such help from Mayor Daley, of Chicago, in 1960.

        During the 2016 Election, Dem/Progs did not have the advantage of COVID, and the fraud possibilities afforded by universal MAIL-IN voting.

        Plus, Hillary, a very poor campaigner, was predicted, by the blind-sided Media, to win by about 10%

        Plus, Trump, as a newcomer, proved to be an excellent campaigner

        Plus, Dem/Progs likely did not perpetrate sufficient STANDARD fraud to “win”

        Dem/Progs vowed not to let this happen again in 2020.

        When COVID came, poor countries effectively used existing, “off-patent” drugs, to treat the disease.

        But, that was not allowed by the vested interests in the US, which immediately pooh-poohed these drugs.

        New drugs had to be invented, costing months of time and many $billions, while people were dying.

        That, plus “phony impeachments”, “investigations”, and the fast-growing economy in free-fall due to COVID, were bad optics for Trump.

        But, it still took a lot of fraud, in all swing states, to “swing” the election for Hiding-Biden.

    • Here, here! 😀 Elegant…Steve Bannon names what is taking place among the people as “The Summer Of Of Our Discontent” as everyone of all ages is awakening – Hidin-Biden voters come to terms with buyers remorse as numbers plummet and we are forced to face fact – lights are on – no one is home

  9. Apparently, men & children (including those few boys who haven’t transitioned as non-binary) are of less interest or concern to Mr. Leahy who’s more interested in how he’s polling in identity politics.

  10. The biden administration is seen by the Taliban as a weak fool and they will give his suggestions no consideration.. The other option is to put the 30k troops Pres Trump pulled out back in to assure it gets done…

    The applesauce brain puppet and his masters couldn’t even get OPEC to pump more oil ’cause he/they killed our energy independence. How can you expect him to do some grandiose rescue plan… our three idiots and the 3 RINO traitors and the other D’s isn’t a bipartisan, just a collusion of commies..

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