Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans help refugee contractors stay afloat

I heard recently that the refugee resettlement agencies (the big nine)*** which the State Department contracts to place refugees in your towns and cities were busy resettling ‘interpreters’ from Afghanistan and those federal payments were helping keep them financially afloat.

So…I checked some numbers at Wrapsnet and was amazed by what I saw.  Sure enough we are bringing in Afghans at an astounding rate.

From FY08 to FY18 we have admitted 49,358 ‘interpreters’ from Afghanistan and that number does not include their spouses and children. Holy cow!

Were there really nearly 50,000 people doing translation work for us? (And, more to come!) 

I know I can hear it now—-shouldn’t we take care of those who helped us in Iraq and Afghanistan (while we were helping their countries!), but really, 50,000 and more!  (I think you can also surmise from this flood of supposedly friendlies out of Afghanistan that we are done there, but that is a story for another blog.)

Know that our usual bunch of federal contractors are paid to place those ‘refugees’ as well.

Poster boy for Iraqis who helped Americans! Jasim Ramadon doing 28 years to life for brutal rape.   https://townhall.com/columnists/dianawest/2014/01/24/from-us-helpers-in-iraq-to-sex-criminals-in-colorado-n1783901

I early on wrote about the Special Immigrant Visa program for Iraqis that ol’ Ted Kennedy got placed in a Defense Authorization bill in the dark of night in 2006, but have never followed it closely. (Numbers of slots available were low. For comparison, we admitted 18,084 ‘interpreters’ from Iraq during the same time period we have admitted nearly 50,000 Afghans!).

However, I see this morning that Donald Trump, when signing the Defense Authorization bill for FY18, also signed in to law a new Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program which permits the entrance to the US of thousands more Afghans in that category.

Read all about it here, and note that the ‘interpreters’ don’t even have to have been employed directly by the US government! They could have been working for allies and presumably NGOs too!  

(I have something else I have to do today, so this is just your intro. to this under-the-radar push for more Middle Easterners to be distributed around the US.)

Here are screenshots of a few pieces of the data at Wrapsnet.

Below is the top of the data sheet on our Afghan admissions.

Circled in red is the column for Special Immigrant Visas compared to the number of regular refugees from that country.  On the fourth line down, that is California which is obviously being flooded.


Screenshot (253)_LI

This is the bottom half of the same data chart:

Screenshot (255)_LI
Refugee numbers (column one) are relatively low for Afghanistan, but the SIV numbers (column two) are huge!



See that in Trump’s first (partial) year in office (FY17) we admitted an astounding 16,866 ‘interpreters’ and in this fiscal year (2018) to March 5th we have already admitted 7,017! Again those numbers do not include spouses and children.

To conclude, although the regular refugee numbers are way down as we reported here.

8,583 refugees have been admitted in 5 months.

You can add to that another 7,017 paying SIV clients (and their families!) for the VOLAGs (resettlement contractors) to place in your towns.  (There are also ‘interpreters’ still coming in from Iraq, but numbers are much lower now.)

***Here are the nine federal refugee contractors. They have been complaining as their regular paying client numbers (refugees) have declined, but it seems they have some taxpayer supplied funds coming in with this huge push to bring in Afghan ‘interpreters’ and their families.

The original Refugee Act of 1980, that set up this monstrosity, envisioned a public-private partnership that over the years has almost completely morphed in to a federal program.

The number in parenthesis is the percentage of their income paid by you (the taxpayer) to place the refugees and get them signed up for their services (aka welfare)!  From most recent accounting, here.

9 thoughts on “Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans help refugee contractors stay afloat

  1. Further– although I don’t see it in the state dept page, the SIV status allows family members who fear retribution to enter as well–perhaps under another status. That would likely mean parents, siblings, and children. It’s important for the US to provide this benefit because without it, the next time we plan on losing a war, we won’t be able to hire any translators. Right now, Afghans who live in the US are too fearful to return to work as shot-on-sight translators, so the only folks willing to do so have to have a lot of motivation, and the SIV might be the carrot they need.

    Once the family members are in the US for five years, they can move on with their lives and return to familiar surroundings. That is their reward for the risk that their family member took for translating. Either the US has to pay its translators more or safeguard them better or resign itself to this deferred cost of having translators.


  2. Ann- I think that Special Immigrant Visa for translators includes Green Card status on entry. Those entrants are not refugees, but they are eligible for refugee services.
    –>As an SIV recipient, you will have Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status upon admission into the United States. Once you are admitted to the United States you will be mailed your Permanent Resident Card (also known as Green Card). You are normally eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship after residing for five (5) years in the United States. For more information, see naturalization information on the USCIS website. <–
    Under the last question: If admitted to the United States, do I get U.S. citizenship? If so, how long does it take?

    Here is the list of laws that the state dept page includes. See the table at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/siv-iraqi-afghan-translators-interpreters.html#references
    References – U.S. Laws
    The chart below contains a list of U.S. laws relevant to Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for eligible Iraqi or Afghan translators/interpreters who worked directly with the U. S. Armed Forces or under Chief of Mission authority. You can find more detailed information about each of these laws by going to the National Archives Office of the Federal Register website.

    Law: Information about the Law:
    1 Section 1059 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 (Public Law 109-163) This law allowed up to 50 Iraqi and Afghan translators/interpreters who worked for the U.S. Armed Forces to receive special immigrant visas (SIVs) each fiscal year (FY). This law was later amended and now provides SIV status for eligible Iraqi and Afghan translators/interpreters who have worked either directly with the U.S. Armed Forces or under Chief of Mission (COM) authority at U.S. Embassy Baghdad or U.S. Embassy Kabul.
    2 Public Law 110-36 This law, which then-President Bush signed on June 15, 2007, amended the law above by expanding the total number of SIVs issued to Iraqi and Afghan translators/interpreters working for the U.S. military to 500 a year for FY 2007 and FY 2008 only.
    3 Public Law 110-242 A provision of this law applies only to cases in which petitions for SIV status as Iraqi or Afghan translators/interpreters who worked directly with the U. S. Armed Forces or under Chief of Mission authority for at least 12 months were filed before October 1, 2008. It authorized the continued processing and adjudication of these applications even though the annual limit of 500 visas had already been reached.
    4 The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161 of December 26, 2007) This law initially made Afghan and Iraqi SIV holders eligible for the same resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits as refugees admitted under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for up to six (6) months from their date of admission or date of adjustment if applying domestically. The period of eligibility was later extended under subsequent legislation. See these two laws below.
    5 The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181 of January 28, 2008) This law extended the period of eligibility of Iraqi SIV holders for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits to up to eight (8) months from their date of admission or date of adjustment if applying domestically.
    6 The Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-8 of March 10, 2009)
    This law extended the period of eligibility of Afghan SIV holders for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other benefits to up to eight (8) months from their date of admission or date of adjustment if applying domestically. For Afghan SIV holders already in the U.S. to be eligible for uninterrupted benefits for an additional two (2) months beyond the original six months (6) allowed under previous law, you must have been admitted to the U.S. on or after September 10, 2008, or if applying domestically, have a date of adjustment of September 10, 2008 or later.


    1. my bad, Ann. The update page that you posted has the current info and the more recent laws.


  3. Could you explain to me why it is legal for the U. S. Government to give tax payer money to religious organizations to fund Refugee Resettlement in American when the government said It would be illegal to help fund churches in the US with relief efforts for Irma and other disaster victims who are American citizens because of separation of church and state? Get Outlook for iOS ________________________________


  4. What is it about this quasi-religious group of people – regardless of what faction – that is so obsessed with the rape of women, female children, and little boys?

    Could it be that they have taken their lead from their not-so-fearless leader, right from the beginning of all this, who TOOK, and married Aisha when she was 9 years old, and Mohammad was age 53, in 619 AD?

    Adult women too much for you Mo?

    Any takers relating to this question..


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