During contentious testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas claimed that only “approximately three percent” of the 60,000 Afghan evacuees already brought to the United States are individuals who possess special immigrant visas (SIVs).
DHS chief says of the more than 60,000 people evacuated from Kabul and brought to the United States, only 3% are Afghan special immigrant visa holders, which include interpreters
— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) September 21, 2021
The majority of Afghans who qualified for SIVs are people who worked with our military as interpreters and therefore placed themselves in grave danger if and when the Taliban returned to power.
As additional background, the U.S. military recruited Afghans to assist U.S. forces, and “part of that pitch when asking Afghans to trust us and put their lives on the line for us was that if this day ever came, we would do right by them and bring them out,” Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), a combat veteran, explained earlier this month. “That was part of that promise — that we will not leave you behind. That was implicit in the legislation establishing Special Immigrant Visas for Afghan allies, and that was conveyed by folks on the ground to those who chose to work with us.”
As of May, 90 percent of the 20,000 Afghans who worked with U.S. troops and diplomats had applied for SIVs, according to government figures reported by NBC.
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