Resettlement organizations across New Jersey are in high gear preparing for an influx of evacuees from Afghanistan. Amid the massive crowds of people attempting to get out of the country are those who risked their lives helping the U.S. government there. In return, they were promised protection under the Special Immigrant Visa Program, but thousands of eligible Afghans who have applied are still without visas for themselves or their families.
Because of safety concerns, one Afghan native who worked security at a U.S. army base in his homeland, applied to be relocated along with his family to the United States, under the special visa program. It took five years before they arrived in New Jersey. Now he fears for his remaining family in Afghanistan and former colleagues, many of whom are eligible to leave but are finding it difficult given the current crisis.
Immigration attorney Eileen King English says in order to receive a special immigrant visa, applicants need a letter of recommendation from the U.S. military and various other documents before even becoming eligible for an interview at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, which is now closed.