UPDATE: Crow tweeted a video Thursday morning featuring the legislation's co-sponsor, combat veteran U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., explaining the legislation.
Since getting to Congress, I’ve been working with fellow veteran, @RepMichaelWaltz, to fight for our servicemembers and veterans. This week, we introduced vital legislation to grant visas to our Syrian Kurdish allies -- we must show that the American handshake matters. pic.twitter.com/TGKLOqdZ1L— Rep. Jason Crow (@RepJasonCrow) October 31, 2019
U.S. Rep. Jason Crow on Wednesday announced the Syrian Partner Protection Act, an effort to extend special immigrant visas to Syrian Kurds who helped American forces combat ISIS.
“The American handshake needs to mean something. This bill is about the promise we made to our partners, in this case, the men and women of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been our primary ally on the ground in the fight against ISIS,” said Crow, D-Aurora.
The legislation comes in response to the decision of President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from northeastern Syria. This allows Turkey to enter the territory and displace Kurds, historical allies of the United States.
Both U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner have criticized the administration's decision.
Special immigrant visas are available to a dozen categories of immigrants currently. These include nationals of Iraq or Afghanistan who supported the American military as translators, religious ministers and those who have been primary care physicians for at least five years.
Crow is a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. A press release mentioned that his district director was an Iraqi military translator who himself came to the U.S. on a special immigrant visa.