News & Resources

IRAP in The New York Times: Afghan Allies Deserve Better

The New York Times today published an editorial about a recent change to the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for Afghans which could leave thousands of U.S. allies unable to show that they qualify for the program. As of last week, the U.S. Department of State now requires a minimum of two years of service from qualifying applicants, but it will apply this change retroactively, potentially disqualifying thousands of deserving individuals who filed their application long before the change was announced.

The editorial cites IRAP, noting that roughly 3,300 deserving applicants could be affected by the U.S. Department of State’s new interpretation of the Afghan SIV legislation.

The Times writes of the DOS’ new approach: “This is unfair, and reflects the callous disregard bureaucrats involved in the program have shown toward Afghan interpreters since Congress created the program in 2009. As it is, the application process is drawn out…

“Mr. Kerry should immediately rescind the retroactive application of the two-year employment rule and make clearing the application backlog a priority. Afghans who took huge risks to help Americans deserve better.”

You can read the full editorial here.