Why are so many former Interpreters for the US and our allies still stuck in Afghanistan? One of the biggest reasons is Donald Trump’s Islamophobia.
May 1, 2019
In light of the sacrifice made by Iraqis and Afghans who assisted U.S. forces, Congress created the Special Immigrant Visa Program to get them and their families to safety in the U.S. Farley says it was about gratitude and also an incentive for local nationals to help U.S. troops. Now veterans such as Farley, as well as dozens of lawmakers, say they’re afraid the promise they made is being broken. Under the Trump administration, the number coming to the U.S. has dropped drastically.
“This administration is hostile to refugees,” says Adam Bates, with the International Refugee Assistance Project.
Bates says in Iraq there is a backlog of more than 100,000 people now in the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program P-2 Direct Access Program. Last year about 200 were cleared — down from nearly 10,000 in 2016.
The number of Afghans getting visas also is slowing — down about 60% in recent years, Bates says. More than 4,000 were cleared in fiscal year 2017, compared with about 1,650 in 2018.
“It would be impossible to say that these substantial drops are not a part of some policy. These are people who put themselves at risk because they served with U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he says.
Donald Trump deserves a lot of the blame for the many of the Afghan Interpreters who have been left behind in Afghanistan.
Where were these 55 Senators back in 2018? Now they are getting a lot of heat.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.