Monday, October 27, 2014

Interpreter Describes Ordeal of U.S. Visa

A former Afghan interpreter who lived and worked with the U.S. military in Afghanistan for years describes the terror he endured while waiting for a U.S. visa. It took him 3 1/2 years to get a visa to come to the United States. During that time, because he assisted the U.S. military, the Taliban kidnapped his father and killed him. They later kidnapped his little brother and held him for ransom; he was released when the interpreter paid a $35,000 ransom (a lot of money for an Afghan). The U.S. State Department has been extremely negligent in the processing of visas for interpreters. It is estimated that up to 80% of Afghan interpreters have been unable to acquire visas. One of the State Department's lame excuses is that that Afghan's are a security risk and that detailed background checks are required. This is questionable - for instance, when this specific interpreter finally received his visa his legal name on the visa was "FNU Mohammad". FNU stood for First Name Unknown. How thorough of a security investigation was conducted if the visa doesn't have the first name right? Read more in "Afghan Who Helped US Describes Sheer Terror of Being a Taliban Target", Business Insider, October 23, 2014.

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