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Special Visa Saves Afghan Translator

May 25, 2014 (1 min read)

"Noori fled to the United States.  Had he not, he would suffer the same fate as his father, or worse.  The Taliban threatened Noori’s life daily because of his service to the Afghan National Army and his later role as an interpreter for the United States and Coalition Forces.  Noori has been lucky so far — escaping firefights unscathed and evading the death that found many of his friends.  But with American forces withdrawing from Afghanistan each day, Noori wondered if his luck would run out.  Noori is one of the thousands of Iraqi and Afghani translators who immigrated to the United States, a country they’d risked their lives for.  Since 2007, 496 Afghan translators and 618 of their dependents have immigrated on a Special Immigrant Visa, according to the U.S. Department of State.  Noori came to Twin Falls on April 10 with his wife, Afsana, and 3-year-old son, Mobbasher.  In getting his visa, Noori was lucky.  According to the New York Times, more than 5,000 Afghans under Taliban threat are competing for fewer than 2,300 visas.  Hundreds more start the application process each month.  If Congress does not act, the special visa program will expire by October, making it nearly impossible for them to come to America through other visas, especially without American relatives, a State Department official told the Times-News." - Brian Smith, May 25, 2014.