politico – US plans to evacuate thousands of interpreters from Afghanistan

The thousands of interpreters who worked alongside US troops for two decades were left in limbo, however, which led to scrambling in Washington to find a way to protect them from the Taliban and others once the US forces were down. parts.

“We are actively working on all possible eventualities to make sure that we can help those who have helped us,” said a senior administration official. confirming a New York Times report.

The plan is to use the special immigrant visa category to process interpreters once they are transferred to a third country, likely in August.

Some of the interpreters have languished in government bureaucracy for years and are still waiting for their visas. The US government has identified a group of such candidates already in the SIV pipeline for transportation out of the country.

“That’s what a lot of us have asked for. So that’s a good thing. But I’m not sure that all of the people who helped us and the many others who are threatened by the Taliban are all going to leave the country in July, or that most of them even want to be out of the country in July. “said Representative Tom Malinwoski (DN.J.).” And so the best way to help the great mass of Afghans who are in danger is to help the Afghan government survive this onslaught by the Taliban and I don’t see enough movement there. “

In Kabul, the US Embassy will continue to function even after the US withdrawal and will continue to treat Afghans identified as eligible, “and we will continue to increase resources to process applications to the extent possible,” said the manager. “We will also continue to work with Congress to identify where we can make the SIV application process more efficient, including eliminating duplicate paperwork and adjusting requirements that do not impact national security.”

To add to the complexity, a Covid-19 outbreak at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, with more than 100 employees testing positive, prompted the complex to be locked down and threw a new key in staff efforts to process visas.

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