The Biden administration is getting ready to evacuate “thousands” or even “tens of thousands” of Afghans who assisted US forces during the 19+ year war to third countries before they can apply for entry into the United States, the New York Times reports, citing unnamed senior administration officials said to be familiar with the situation.
The people in question – among them interpreters, drivers, security guards, embassy clerks, engineers and others who worked to smooth the US’s generation-long occupation of the country, have been struggling in their attempts to apply for special immigrant visas, with thousands said to have been ‘trapped in bureaucratic limbo’ of the application process.
US lawmakers and the Pentagon have put increasing pressure on the Biden administration to step up protections for these individuals, amid fears that a resurgent Taliban may carry out revenge attacks against them.
The United States has a special immigrant visa programme for Afghans who face threats in their home country for their work for or on behalf of the US government, but applicants have run into difficulties amid the large number of applications, stringent entry requirements, lack of staff and problems said to be associated with the coronavirus pandemic. NYT’s sources…