I’m pleased to share a Navy Times article that quotes LIRS staff member Brittney Nystrom on the troubles faced by a law providing special visas to Iraqi and Afghan nationals.
In her July 12 article, “‘Visas for Iraqis, Afghans who Helped U.S. in Jeopardy,” Navy Times reporter Paige Sutherland quotes Nystrom on the law, which offers special visas to Iraqi and Afghan nationals in danger for helping the U.S. military. The law suffered a blow when the House turned down the Senate’s immigration reform bill last week.
Many of the refugees and their families face grave threats in their homelands as a result of their U.S. government affiliation, and thousands have been killed by their own countrymen, advocacy groups say.
In 2008, Congress passed legislation providing Iraqi and Afghan refugees who assisted the U.S. with special immigrant visas. This included contractors, translators and guides. The 5,000 visas allotted annually to Iraqis are set to expire at the end of September, while the 1,500 visas allotted annually to Afghans will expire in September 2014. The immigration bill would make the visas available until September 2018.
Later in the article, Sutherland interviews Nystrom:
Those who benefit from the visas are in immediate danger, said Brittney Nystrom, director of advocacy at the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
With the immigration reform bill stalled, advocacy efforts have focused on pushing through the visa provision by other means, Nystrom said.
We deeply appreciate the Navy Times’ effort to cover this important issue. Please take the time to read the full article by clicking the link to the headline, and please leave a supportive comment, share via Facebook and Twitter, and email the link to your friends, family, and colleagues!