CNN’s Ward: State Department Says It Might Not Be Able to Process all Afghanistan SIV Applications by the End of Biden’s Term

On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “AC360,” CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward stated that due to the “glacial rate” at which the applications for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) are being processed, the State Department says it “might not even be able to process all these visa applications by the end of President Biden’s term.” And that while she was in Kabul, a man who said he was an interpreter for the U.S. military approached her for help.

Ward stated that people who helped the U.S. and were left behind are “everywhere. There [are] tens of thousands of them. According to the State Department, nearly 160,000 Afghans are eligible to apply for the SIV, the Special Immigrant Visa, and the U.S., understandably, is completely snowed under. They’re being processed at a glacial rate, in part because of bureaucratic issues. The interviews that are necessary would have taken place at the U.S. embassy here in Kabul. Obviously, that’s not possible anymore, and people who are trapped here can’t get to a third country to do those interviews. The State Department saying they might not even be able to process all these visa applications by the end of President Biden’s term. But I can’t stress enough, Anderson, we get phone calls and messages from people all the time. And even today, when we were out in the middle of the city during a sort of Taliban celebration, a man came up to me. He said, I don’t really feel comfortable talking to you here, but this is my name, this is my phone number, I used to be an interpreter for the U.S. military, and I desperately need your help, and the frustration for us, of course, is that we can’t help. It’s a very difficult process.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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