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Nebraska Afghans led a vigil on Capitol Hill

OMAHA, Nebraska – Safi Rauf, Anees Kahlil, and Zabhi Kahlil, all from Nebraska, led a 15-day vigil on Capitol Hill. The objective is to promote passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act.

Rauf, a Millard South High School alumni and U.S. Navy veteran, was interviewed by 6 News reporter Brent Weber on the final day of the vigil, which concluded on September 29 with no vote on the Afghan Adjustment Act. The bill is still in committee, so the vigil will continue at various locations until Congress returns after the new year. The interview with Zoom was edited for transmission.

“We are here in support of the Afghan Adjustment Act. The Afghan Adjustment Act is a measure that will first and primarily provide increased screening for everyone who entered the United States in the past year. Safi Rauf, founder and president of Human First Coalition, stated, “We can understand how critical this is to our national security.”

“Second, of all those who entered last year on a two-year visa program and do not have a permanent residency track to remain in the United States.”

“Third, it establishes an interagency task group that will oversee the remaining work in Afghanistan. This bill is crucial not just for the Afghan allies who are present and [those] who are left behind, but also for our veterans. Our veterans, who have fought shoulder-to-shoulder with our Afghan partners, are clamoring for the passage of this bill in Congress. “Therefore, we have enormous support from our veteran brothers and sisters,” Rauf stated.

They have been visited by a large number of fellow veterans who have shown their support, as well as some celebrities.

Actually, Jon Stewart stopped by yesterday, and he supports this law in its entirety. We’ve had Senator Blumenthal, Senator Coons, Senator Klobuchar, and many, many others stop by,” Rauf said.

With the family well-represented, who else is there?

“I have [brother] Anees here with me, who flew down from Nebraska to join us, and then I have Zahbi over there as well, so they’re all here, and you know we’ve left our families and loved ones behind and are sitting here at the Capitol to advocate for our Afghan allies, you know, those Afghan allies have sacrificed so much for us over the last 20 years, and this is the least we can do for them,” said Rauf.

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