Afghan Interpreters Denied Visas; DOS Says They Face No 'Serious Threat'

Afghan Interpreters Denied Visas; DOS Says They Face No 'Serious Threat'

"A growing number of Afghan interpreters who worked alongside American troops are being denied U.S. visas allotted by Congress because the State Department says there is no serious threat against their lives.  But the interpreters, many of whom served in Taliban havens for years, say U.S. officials are drastically underestimating the danger they face.  Immigration attorneys and Afghan interpreters say the denials are occurring just as concerns about Taliban retribution are mounting due to the withdrawal of U.S. forces. ... Supporters of the program in Congress expressed anger over the denied visas.  “I am deeply concerned about recent reports that the threat posed to interpreters by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan is being downplayed or disregarded,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a veteran of the Afghan war, when asked for reaction.  “The current process for approving visas threatens to undermine the commitment we made to stand with them.”  “We have to keep our promise to individuals who risked their lives serving alongside our troops,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a member of the Armed Services Committee.  “Failing to act puts lives at further risk and hurts our credibility around the globe.” " - WaPo, Nov. 10, 2013.