WASHINGTON – The US on Wednesday reaffirmed ongoing assist to relocate tens of hundreds of Afghans who helped American forces throughout the almost two-decade warfare in Afghanistan.
“We have recognized a bunch of SIV (Particular Immigrant Visa) candidates who served as interpreters and translators, in addition to different people who’ve assisted us and which can be in danger. They and their households would have the choices to be relocated exterior of Afghanistan earlier than we full our navy drawdown by September, so as to full their Particular Immigrant Visa processing,” State Division deputy spokesperson Jalina Porter instructed VOA throughout a Wednesday cellphone briefing.
The deputy spokesperson declined to elaborate which third nation would offer non permanent relocation for Afghan SIV candidates. “Because of safety constraints, we shall be restricted in how a lot we will share when it comes to numbers, places and timing of those operations,” Porter stated.
The Afghan Particular Immigrant Visa (SIV) program was created by the U.S. Congress in 2009 to present security for Afghan interpreters, contractors, safety personnel and others affiliated with U.S. troops and missions.
On the White Home, spokesperson Jen Psaki instructed reporters Wednesday that the U.S. is “expediting that processing” and taking steps to judge choices “for transferring people to a different location in order that they might full” the visa course of.
There are roughly 18,000 Afghan SIV candidates ready for approval to return to the U.S.
U.S. officers’ feedback got here after the U.S. Home of Representatives handed a proposal Tuesday that would briefly waive the requirement for SIV candidates to bear a medical examination whereas in Afghanistan. They’d be allowed to take action after coming into U.S. soil.
The medical examination requirement has been cited as one of many causes for critical delay within the visa course of as a result of there’s presently just one facility in Kabul that conducts all immigrant visa examinations, forcing candidates to journey to Kabul in typically harmful circumstances.
The Home laws will now go to the Senate.
The SIV course of entails greater than a dozen steps and a job for the Departments of State and Homeland Safety.
There are roughly 18,000 Afghan principal candidates at some stage of the SIV utility course of. As of Could, roughly 50% of those candidates are at an preliminary stage of the method, pending applicant motion, in keeping with a State Division spokesperson.
In different phrases, roughly 9,000 of those candidates must take motion earlier than the U.S. authorities can start processing their case. Roughly 30% of functions are awaiting a call on the Chief of Mission stage. The ultimate 20% have been accredited by the Chief of Mission and are transferring via the immigration course of, both within the petition or visa processing phases.
Some critics stated the SIV program has been “stricken by backlogs for greater than a decade.”
The Worldwide Rescue Committee (IRC), a company that has resettled greater than 15,000 Afghan SIV recipients for the reason that U.S. Congress established this system, stated it might take an Afghan applicant two to a few years or extra to achieve security within the U.S.
IRC stated in an announcement that the U.S. authorities must develop an environment friendly adjudication course of “that addresses the longstanding challenges in SIV processing which have resulted in years-long backlogs.”
In April, U.S. President Joe Biden ordered the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the twentieth anniversary of the al-Qaida assaults on the U.S., regardless of the rising risk by Taliban rebels to grab energy.
Since Could, Taliban rebels have escalated assaults and seized dozens of districts within the Afghan countryside, sparking issues the insurgents may acquire management of Kabul because it did in 1996.