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IRAP in The Washington Post: Congress Betrays Afghans Who Risked their Lives

Today’s editorial by The Washington Post slams the House and Senate Armed Services committees for failing to protect, in their new drafts of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) legislation, the Afghans who risked their lives in support of the United States.

“Though 8,528 applicants have received visas, thousands are still waiting,” wrote the Editorial Board. “The annual defense bills just sent to the floor of each chamber could leave many of them behind. The legislation should be amended to keep faith with those who kept faith with the United States.”

The Post addresses the alleged reasons behind the new restrictions. “When we asked Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) about the limitations, he said they were a response to information he received that some Afghans were exploiting the program, taking menial jobs just to get a visa…

“We think the response is misplaced. Afghans who work with the United States, whether pushing a broom or translating under fire, potentially face the danger of retribution from extremists — especially when they go home at night. Mr. Thornberry’s concern is already dealt with in the visa process, which requires a detailed check to verify that applicants face ongoing danger.”

The pieces drives home an important point: “The special Afghan visa program has been a valuable tool for recruiting people to serve in a war zone. Cutting off thousands of applicants will not only betray their loyalty but also send the wrong signal, far and wide, about working for the United States.”

Read the full article here, and please share it widely with your networks!