A bipartisan group of lawmakers is urging the White House to begin transporting Afghan allies “immediately” to a safe zone such as Guam ahead of the full withdrawal of U.S. forces from the war-torn country later this year, the Military Times reported.
“It would be a moral failure to transfer the responsibility to protect our Afghan partners onto the shoulders of the Afghan Government. The time is now to honor our promise," the lawmakers stated in a letter to President Biden.
Congressman Michael San Nicolas, Guam's delegate to Congress, is among the signatories to the letter, which was also endorsed by the bi-partisan Keeping Our Promises Working Group.
"We just commemorated Memorial Day, and my San Nicolas clan remembers our fallen eldest, Major Henry San Nicolas Ofeciar who we lost in Afghanistan, as well as all of our sons and daughters of Guam and Micronesia," San Nicolas said.
"They would all want us to do this - to do everything we can to honor our commitments and their sacrifices in defense of our nation and freedom."
San Nicolas added that "This is our time to answer the call to duty, and I call on all of the people of Guam to once again showcase to America and to the world that we remain a fortress of freedom unflinching and unrelenting."
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero earlier expressed willingness to host the Afghan allies "if needed."
The group of 22 lawmakers includes several veterans who served overseas alongside foreign interpreters and security volunteers.
Lawmakers noted that the island has been such a transition zone before; in 1975, about 130,000 Vietnamese refugees were evacuated there when U.S. military forces left that country.
The Military Times reported that the group asked administration officials to establish a task force to handle visa management, vaccination efforts and other logistical issues related to such a move.