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Shaheen co-sponsors bill for special Afghan visas

Mar 16, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

On Wednesday, March 15 New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen joined Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) to introduce a bill that would add 2,500 more visas to the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.

The SIV program allows interpreters and other Afghans who aided U.S. forces to take refuge in the United States if they face threats as a result of their service.

Earlier this month the embassy in Kabul stopped taking applications for the program.

According to NPR, 15,000 Afghans are at "some stage" in the application process for a special visa, but the U.S. has only authorized 1,500 more visas. 

"We would never leave an American warrior behind on the battlefield. Likewise, we must not leave behind the Afghan interpreters who served side by side with our warriors and diplomats," said Shaheen. "We made a solemn promise to these brave people. I am going to do everything I can to ensure that we keep this promise." 

Other bill supporters argue that if the United State does not provide for its Afghan allies, it will hurt the United States' ability to gain the trust of people in Iraq, Syria, and other countries where U.S. forces operate.

Bill opponents argue that the program is not restrictive enough and is open to abuse.

"We just need to be careful about this," said Jeff Sessions last December. "Just because you've got applicants doesn't mean every one of them is deserving of acceptance." Sessions was appointed Attorney General under President Trump.

Other opponents are concerned about the cost of implementing the program. An earlier proposal to add 4,000 visas came with a $446 million price tag. 

Do you support Sen. Shaheen's bill to continue special visas for Afghans who helped the U.S. military and diplomats? Share your opinion in the comments below. We plan to present a summary of the comments received to stakeholders considering the bill related to this question.

Comments

Seth King
- Sugar Hill

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 7:21pm

May I remind readers that the Orlando mass murderer's father came from Afghanistan on this very type of visa.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/orlando-shooting-omar-mateen-father-seddique...

Of all of the countries in the world, Afghanistan has arguably the most F'ed up culture. There's a book I read a dozen or so years ago called "Kabul in Winter" which described in absolute horrible detail just how disgusting, violent, oppressive, and brutal Afghan culture is.

Why is so much effort being made to import the most disgusting and horrid people on the planet into the western world? I mean, doesn't America have plenty of problems already? Why isn't more effort being made to improve this country? The truth is that the left has found an unlikely ally in Islam. The left has so much disdain for white, western civilization, that they're willing to bring in millions of hostiles to help destroy it.

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Jeanne Shaheen
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Senator, U.S. Senate (2008 - present); NH Governor (1996 - 2002)

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