First group of evacuated Afghan interpreters arrives in US

First group of evacuated Afghan interpreters arrives in US
An Afghan interpreter with the US Army seen speaking with a villager. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: About 200 Afghan interpreters and their families have arrived in the United States – the first of a group of 2,500 Afghans being evacuated as the Taliban aggressively regains access more and more lands of the country.

The Afghan interpreters are being resettled in the US under a visa programme for those who worked with the US forces during the recently ended two-decade war with the Taliban.

The interpreters arrived in the US in the early hours of Friday morning and were taken to Fort Lee military base in Virginia, and they are expected to stay there for around a week while they are processed.

The Taliban have been advancing Afghanistan following a decision by US president Joe Biden to withdraw the remaining American soldiers from the country.

With those advances have come danger to those who worked alongside US troops during the 20-year conflict.

Since 2008, approximately 70,000 Afghans have been resettled in the United States on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV).

A senior US State Department official said last week that the total number of visa applicants now stands just over twenty thousand, and about half of them have yet to complete the first steps of the process.

Those yet to go through the verification process face potential threats in attempting to secure a visa. Former US Army battalion commander Mike Jason, who was deployed to Afghanistan, said that travelling across Taliban-controlled areas with the documentation needed for SIVs puts interpreters in “mortal danger”.

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