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US rushes to evacuate Afghan translators but leaves many in limbo




4,000 more Afghans who worked with US forces, including many interpreters, had been allowed to settle in the United States with their families in light of the withdrawal of US troops, State Department officials said on Wednesday. .

But officials added that the evacuations only took place from Kabul, the capital, and all eligible Afghans in remote areas were on their own to figure out how to make the journey difficult, and possibly dangerous, if they wanted. take advantage of the offer. .

To come on an evacuation flight, they would have to travel to Kabul, said a senior official, who requested anonymity to discuss the plan in detail, during a call with reporters. Obviously, we don’t have a strong American military presence. We don’t have the capacity to provide transportation for them.

If they stay in the north of the country and feel unsafe in Afghanistan, they could travel to a neighboring country and complete their application process there, the official added.

The United States will also not provide security for candidates outside Kabul, many of whom are directly threatened by the Taliban for cooperating with coalition forces during the war.

With the US military in the final stages of withdrawal from Afghanistan, the White House has come under pressure to protect Afghan allies and expedite the process of providing them with special immigrant visas, and President Biden has pledged to do it. There have been approximately 20,000 applicants for the special visa program.

This month, 2,500 Afghans will be staged to a military base in Fort Lee, Va., South of Richmond, where they will wait about 10 days for final processing. The next 4,000 applicants, who need additional approvals, will go with their families to other countries to complete the visa process before coming to the United States, the senior official said.

The official did not indicate which countries these applicants would be sent to to complete the visa process.

The House is expected to pass legislation this week increasing the number of State Department special immigrant visas and streamlining the application process.




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