SIV

SIV aka Special Immigrant Visas are visas that were created by the State Department in 2008 to help aide Iraqi nationals who worked for or on behalf of the U.S.

Championed by Senator Ted Kennedy the SIV program was successful in bringing over almost 5,000 former Iraqi translators and contractors. The SIV program streamlines the refugee application allowing Iraqi’s to escape a hostile and dangerous environment.

Unfortunately there is no such SIV program in place for Afghan translators and contractors. Instead, as the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, Afghan’s who worked for the U.S. government  are being hunted and killed by the Taliban as they wait for Refugee visas to the U.S.

This SIV program was one of the provisions we discussed when visiting Illinois house representatives in August. Specifically hoped this issue would appeal to representative Randy Hultgren. Hultgren is a staunchly conservative republican who does not believe in a pathway to citizenship. Yet the SIV program is something we hoped he’d get behind before heading back to DC in September. His district has a substantial Afghan community, and because of the military aspect the SIV program it appeals to a more conservative base.

Attached below is a short New York Times article highlighting this issue. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/15/world/asia/american-visa-delays-put-safety-out-of-afghan-interpreters-reach.html?pagewanted=all

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