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Gillibrand signs onto letter urging president to address special immigrant visa backlog

People who risked their lives to work with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan could face deadly consequences as America pulls out of the county this September.

News 12 Staff

May 21, 2021, 9:15 PM

Updated 1,152 days ago

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People who risked their lives to work with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan could face deadly consequences as America pulls out of the county this September.
An Afghan man who currently lives in Westchester is hoping to raise awareness of what's going on in the hope of saving lives back home.
"Mohammad" worked with the U.S. during the Afghanistan war, delivering supplies to troops at U.S. bases in Kabul.
His service was rewarded with a special immigrant visa or SIV, which allowed him and his family to move to Westchester County.
But as the U.S. plans to pull out of Afghanistan this September, nearly 18,000 Afghans like Mohammed are waiting for visas and facing death threats.
"The promise that was made is the United States had their backs," says Jeff Swarz, of the Westchester Jewish Coalition for Immigration.
Swarz says it's a promise the U.S. has yet to fulfill.
"The jobs that they were undertaking were extremely dangerous," he says.
"What these individuals have done has served alongside our service members for decades. Helping be successful, saving lives, translating," says Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
Gillibrand signed onto a bipartisan letter to the president this week urging him to address the backlog of SIV applications.
"We need to make sure that those who stood by our service members and helped America's cause are protected in their greatest time of need," she says.


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