From Andy Kim <[email protected]>
Subject The American Handshake
Date August 16, 2021 7:49 PM
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Hello there,

I continue to struggle finding the words to describe the tragedy in Afghanistan. I've spent most of the last few days trying to get Afghans that I know out of the country. Their pleas are raw and cannot be ignored, and I know full well that some might not make it.

The immediate question on many of our minds is "How did we get here?" I have many thoughts on that, but first let's focus on saving as many lives as possible in the next few days and weeks. Let's remember that those most in harm's way are Afghans fighting for their lives. They helped us, and now they need us. That is the American handshake.

I know this because ten years ago, I had the privilege of working alongside many of them in Afghanistan. I also know that there is a lot we can do to provide immediate relief right now.

We can set aside the red tape of backlogged visas, prioritize peoples' safety, and evacuate them. Bureaucracy cannot be an excuse for inaction.

We can work to guarantee safe passage to the airport. We cannot let the last mile stand between us and those we need to help.

We can honor America's promise to help those who help us. If we don't help those who work with America in dangerous areas, our values are only empty words.

A lot of you have been contacting me to ask what you can do to help Afghanistan. Here's how we can work together to save lives:

If you know an American citizen who needs to get out of Afghanistan, someone who needs or is waiting for a Special Immigrant Visa, or someone who is working as a contractor with the media, and NGO, or other organization, have them call my office at (202) 225-4765 or email [email protected] [[email protected]] so we can push for urgent evacuation.

As Afghan evacuees arrive in the United States, they will need our help to set up their new lives.
1. If you can If you can volunteer for airport pickup, apartment setups, and/or provide meals, sign up at [[link removed]].
2. If you can provide transportation, housing, and other basic needs for Afghans at Fort Lee in Virginia, go to
[[link removed]]
3. If you are an attorney and can help with pro bono cases, please sign up here:
[[link removed]]
4. If you want to help people who are still unable to leave, here are NGOs/charities working in Afghanistan you can support:
[[link removed]]

While I have many thoughts about the failures of both parties over the years in Afghanistan, those can wait. Right now, we need to unite and commit as a nation to saving as many people as we can.

America is at its best when we put aside our differences and work together and model what it means to show generosity and empathy wherever it's needed. Let's do that right now to help as many people as we can.

No excuses. We can do this.

Thank you,

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Andy Kim for Congress
P.O. Box 211
Marlton, NJ 08053
United States
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