Congressional gridlock could lead to US running out of visas for Afghan allies


Join Fox News to access this content

Plus, you’ll get special access to featured articles and other premium content through your account – for free.

Please enter a valid email address.

Afghans who helped the United States during its 20-year war but remain trapped there may soon lose their chance to escape if the visa program reserved for the United States runs out.

The Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program run by the National Treasury could run out as early as this summer, Military.com reports.For now, talks about adding 20,000 more available slots are just one of several sticking points as congress The debate rages over how to fund about half of the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

A bipartisan group of 15 senators, led by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., is now seeking to salvage the plan and sent a letter to Senate leadership on Thursday urging lawmakers to make good on the plans that remain stranded. The commitment of Afghan allies in the country.

Afghan allies risking lives to help us get lost in red tape

Passengers aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III support the Afghan evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 24, 2021. (Getty Images)

The group, made up of 10 Democrats and five Republicans, wrote: “As the U.S. withdraws troops from Afghanistan and the Taliban takes over, the need to quickly process SIV applications and ensure that all eligible applicants receive visas has never been more urgent. .”

See also  Pregnant New York special education teacher found dead in classroom after get off work

“There are credible reports that hundreds of Afghans have been killed while waiting for their SIV applications to be processed,” the senators added. “Congress must ensure that visas are available to every eligible SIV applicant — including The surviving spouses of cases in which our Afghan allies have been killed — have been brought to the United States.”

Supporters of the SIV program are pushing for 20,000 additional visas to be included in the new government spending bill, accusing house republicans Although the Military.com report notes that House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, has recently “softened his stance” on the issue, it remains an obstacle.

Kabul soldiers

As hundreds of people gathered near an evacuation control checkpoint at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, a U.S. soldier held a sign indicating that the gate was closed. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

Afghan translator lands in US, says we are leaving others facing Taliban death threats behind

Johnson’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

The SIV program was originally created in 2009 to assist Afghans who have fought alongside Afghan forces U.S. military Opportunities to resettle in the United States. The program has long been plagued by slow processing times, a problem that became exacerbated in the final days of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

Plane leaves Kabul - Afghanistan

On August 30, 2021, a U.S. Air Force aircraft took off from Kabul Airport. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images)

The State Department has improved its process and is approving about 1,000 applications per month, the report said. But the accelerated timetable also risks running out of visas later this year, with only about 7,000 available places left.

See also  Man charged with stealing $900 from New York church after posing as pastor

Click here to get the Fox News app

“We are clearly going to hit that cap and we will need statutory approval to raise it,” a State Department spokesperson said at a press conference last week. “We urge Congress to raise the cap so we can fulfill our obligations to those who risk their lives for the United States.” It is the duty of Afghans to ensure that they are not forgotten.”



Source link

By Ali Raza

I am a dedicated and skilled News Content Writer with a passion for delivering accurate and engaging stories to a diverse audience. With a solid background in journalism and a keen eye for detail, I bring a commitment to excellence and a deep understanding of the evolving media landscape.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *