“Refugee advocates are enthusiastic about language in the Senate bill that they say brings more parity to the Iraqi and Afghan programs by expanding visa eligibility for Afghans to more of their family members and professions. Unused visas would also be made available until September 2018.
Working with the U.S., they noted, can often put a person’s whole family at risk.
“It’s not just your nuclear family that is targeted. Your parents are targeted. Your siblings are targeted,” said Katherine Reisner, national policy director for the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project. “We have heard of people being attacked or killed because their relatives worked with Americans.”
Iraqis and Afghans who worked for the U.S. government, as well as media and non-governmental organizations, would be eligible for the visas under the Senate bill. Each year, Iraqis and Afghans would be allotted 5,000 special visas each.”