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The Washington Post: Congress Should Extend the Special Visa Program for Afghans

The Washington Post has published an editorial urging Congress to extend the special immigrant visa program in Afghanistan. The editorial comes at a critical moment: over the coming weeks, members of Congress will decide the future of the program, which is currently set to expire on December 31.

Members of Congress must negotiate the differences between the House version and the Senate version of the pending defense authorization bill. The House version would provide 1,075 additional visas to the Afghan program, while the Senate version allocates 2,000 visas per year through 2016. The Senate version also addresses a bureaucratic oversight that currently renders ineligible Afghan interpreters who served under U.S. command but were technically part of the International Security Assistance Force.

The Washington Post supports adoption of the Senate version of the bill, which will more effectively meet current needs and protect American allies in Afghanistan.

“This is about keeping faith with Afghans who took risks shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. troops,” writes the Editorial Board.

You can read the full editorial here.