State Dept. Offers Potential Refugee Status to More Afghans Who Worked With U.S.

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Politics|State Dept. Offers Potential Refugee Status to More Afghans Who Worked With U.S.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/02/us/politics/afghan-visas-refugees.html

As the Taliban marque territorial gains, much Afghans, including those who helped U.S. quality outlets, volition go eligible for visas.

Afghan interpreters astatine  a protestation  successful  Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier  the opening  of the U.S. unit  withdrawal successful  April.
Credit...Wakil Kohsar/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Michael Crowley

Aug. 2, 2021, 6:00 a.m. ET

The State Department is offering imaginable exile presumption to caller categories of Afghans who assisted the United States during the warfare successful Afghanistan, including those who worked for quality media and nongovernmental organizations.

The section said successful an announcement connected Monday that the enactment was meant to support Afghans “who whitethorn beryllium astatine hazard owed to their U.S. affiliation,” but who were not eligible for a peculiar migrant visa programme that has begun to resettle thousands of Afghans and their household members.

The White House has been nether dense unit to support Afghans who worked with the U.S. subject implicit the past 20 years and who whitethorn beryllium successful information from Taliban reprisals arsenic the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan. As the Taliban marque territorial gains astir the country, Biden medication officials and salient members of Congress person grown progressively acrophobic astir the menace to Afghans with ties to the United States.

The first planeload of much than 200 Afghan interpreters, drivers and others who aided the U.S. subject arrived past week successful the Washington country for resettlement arsenic portion of a authorities inaugural nether 2 congressionally devised peculiar visa programs.

Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa programme to springiness refuge to Afghans and Iraqis who helped the U.S. military. But the State Department’s enactment connected Monday reflects interest that the programme inactive leaves susceptible galore Afghans with U.S. ties.

Last month, a conjugation of quality media organizations — including The New York Times, on with The Washington Post, ABC News, CNN, Fox News and respective others — sent letters to President Biden and legislature leaders asking them to instrumentality much steps to support Afghans who had worked arsenic reporters, translators and enactment unit for U.S. outlets moving successful Afghanistan.

The letters noted that the Special Immigrant Visa programme “does not scope those Afghans who person served U.S. quality organizations. Yet they and their families look the aforesaid menace of retaliation from the Taliban, which views the American property arsenic a morganatic target.”

The Taliban person “long conducted a run of threatening and sidesplitting journalists,” the missive pointed out, estimating that astir 1,000 Afghans faced information arsenic a effect of their journalistic affiliations.

The exile programme volition besides connection extortion to Afghans who worked for U.S. government-funded programs and projects successful the country, arsenic good arsenic nongovernmental organizations, which the Taliban person agelong targeted.

The State Department said that Afghans who did not conscionable the Special Immigrant Visa program’s minimum requirements for duration of work would besides beryllium eligible for imaginable exile status.

Those eligible for the programme would acquisition “extensive information vetting” earlier they were permitted to resettle successful the United States arsenic refugees, the section said.

Even arsenic it offers resettlement opportunities to caller categories of Afghans, the United States continues moving to support thousands much who aided the subject and are frankincense eligible for the Special Immigrant Visa program.

About 2,500 Afghans are being relocated to Fort Lee, Va., arsenic portion of an effort that the White House calls Operation Allies Refuge, to region them from harm’s mode arsenic they implicit their applications for visas and imperishable resettlement successful the United States.

Federal officials accidental that immoderate 4,000 much Afghans who are midway done the exertion process volition soon beryllium flown to different countries, on with their contiguous families, earlier those who are granted visas are brought to the United States.

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