Today, The Washington Post published an op-ed by former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, urging Congress to save and improve the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghans. The op-ed comes at a critical moment: the House Armed Services Committee version of the new legislation jeopardizes the program’s strength by restricting eligibility and providing no additional visas.
“This is a very personal issue for me,” wrote Crocker. “I was the U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009 and the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2011 to 2012. I observed firsthand the courage of the citizens who risked their lives trying to help their own countries by helping the United States. During my time in Afghanistan, I had the pleasure of working with the 859 Afghan staffers at our embassy who risked their lives every day to work for the betterment of their country and ours. It takes a special kind of heroism for them to serve alongside us…
“Congress should both expand this essential program and work to fix the delays in processing that are weakening it.”
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