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Afghan Adjustment Act, advocated for by students and ASUC, failed to be included in 2023 federal omnibus bill

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Student organizations including UC Berkeley's Afghan Student Association have been advocating for the Afghan Adjustment Act.


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DECEMBER 21, 2022

The Afghan Adjustment Act, or AAA, was not included in the December federal omnibus bill for the fiscal year of 2023, despite past support from the ASUC and ongoing advocacy by campus organizations.

The act is a bipartisan bill created to support Afghan immigrants in the United States by giving them a no-cost pathway to legal citizenship and permanent residency, according to Sama Zazai, president of the UC Berkeley Afghan Student Association, or ASA. It also expands the Special Immigrant Visa program.

Zazai noted in an email that students with the ASA continuously advocated for the act throughout the semester by tabling, speaking at ASUC meetings and spreading awareness via social media.

“In an effort to gauge support and awareness of the AAA, UCB’s ASA made it their goal to affirm to the Afghan community that students at Berkeley care about their livelihoods,” Zazai said in the email. “After being stricken by war and numerous humanitarian crises, the Afghan people are at an extreme loss, and they deserve to be advocated for.”

Zazai added that the support of the ASUC on the act is a shared student effort that they utilized when urging local and federal officials to support the act.

The ASUC’s statement of support noted how thousands of Afghans were evacuated and many were left in Afghanistan following the “chaotic withdrawal” of the U.S. military.

The statement referred to the United States’ immigration system as “broken,” noting how Afghans struggle after immigrating to the United States and are only offered temporary legal status for one to two years.

“Letting the Berkeley community know what’s going on allows them to act on it, to go out there and organize themselves, and to make calls to their legislators and that kind of stuff,” said ASUC External Affairs Vice President Bailey Henderson. “Uplifting information is often equally as crucial as getting out and moving the line because once we made this more public people started to pay attention and actually act on it.”

Henderson also noted the importance of standing in solidarity with the Afghan community.

Zazai stated in the email that organizations like Afghans For a Better Tomorrow, or AFBT, are urging people to call U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer to advocate for the AAA and its importance to the Afghan community. The AFBT is also advocating for the bill to pass as a floor amendment to the omnibus.

Zazai stated that the act upholds the promise of safety for Afghans by the United States, and said it would be “disappointing” if the act ultimately fails to be included in the omnibus bill despite support garnered by student organizations.

“Could you even imagine fleeing your homeland due to war, hunger, malnutrition, a recent earthquake, only to be kicked out again just when you think you have reached it to safety?” Zazai said in the email. “My question for the world is: how much suffering will my people have to go through for them to finally know peace?”

Contact Lucía Umeki-Martínez at 


DECEMBER 21, 2022