As you know, the Special Immigrant Visa program is defined carefully by statute, and we know that there are Afghans who don’t qualify, but who helped us and deserve our help. Some may not have the qualifying employment for the Special Immigrant Visa. For example, they worked for a project funded by the U.S. government, but not for the government itself. Some may not have met the minimum time and service requirement, for example, employees who began working for us more recently, and some were employed by American media organizations or N.G.O.s doing vital work to support democratic progress in Afghanistan. So today, the State Department is announcing a new resettlement program for Afghans who assisted the United States, but who do not qualify for Special Immigrant Visas. We’ve created a Priority 2 or P-2 designation, granting access to the U.S. refugee admissions program for many of these Afghans and their family members. A great deal of hard work has gone into this already, but even more lies ahead. There is a significant diplomatic, logistical and bureaucratic challenge. We take our responsibility to our Afghan partners deeply seriously. We know the American people do as well. We have a long history in the United States welcoming refugees into our country, and helping them resettle into new homes and new communities is the work of a huge network of state and local governments, N.G.O.s, faith-based groups, advocacy groups, tens of thousands of volunteers. It’s a powerful demonstration of American friendship and generosity.

By Reuters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *