Afghanis face 14-step U.S. visa process as Taliban streams into Kabul. And illegals at the border? Come on in
Kabul: Embassy feeding the incinerators. Sledgehammering gear. Marines will lower flag. More Marines coming. Catastrophe. McCaffrey said can hold Kabul airport indefinitely. Fucking bullshit. Taliban will rocket the shit out of Airport. Our forces totally defensive.— Michael Yon (@Michael_Yon) August 15, 2021
AP, Bloomberg, and Al-Arabiya are reporting that the Taliban is streaming into Kabul from all sides, and control every provincial capital. The terrorists are flying abandoned U.S. helicopters, posing with our abandoned guns, and parading in abandoned U.S. vehicles, with its "commanders" dancing with glee. In Kabul, the airport is jammed, the bank runs are starting, the prisoners are being let out, and the car line into Uzbekistan up north is stretching for miles. Gunshots are reportedly heard at the Afghan presidential palace. The Taliban took Jalalabad, shutting off the eastern route out, so Kabul airport is reported to be the only exit left. The U.S. Chinook helicopters have arrived for evacuations, the fighting on the outskirts of the capital is fierce, and planes have reportedly been taking off without a known destination.
Which leaves what must be the biggest horror -- the line for visas into the U.S. sought by those who served as translators, interpreters, spies, or collaborators of the U.S. during the 20-year war.
Afghans at a visa processing office in kabul just now. One man, overwhelmed, trying to help Afghans fill out US state dept forms (in english). Desperation. Many people came up to me crying, saying the need to leave, fear for their lives as Taliban closes in on Kabul. pic.twitter.com/zDodmUsBvl— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 15, 2021
Their fate is likely to be grim once the Taliban takes over, and you can bet these invading barbarians, who have engaged in public hangings and beheadings in recent days as they've taken over provinces, would like to make an example of some or all of them.
According to the Wall Street Journal, getting a visa to the U.S., even in these conditions, remains a 14-step process.
About 18,000 Afghans who have applied for the U.S.’s Special Immigrant Visa, as well as their families, remain on the ground in Afghanistan, with about half of those outside Kabul, in areas either already under Taliban control or likely to fall soon, a congressional aide said.
In addition, the State Department this month said tens of thousands more Afghans would be eligible for priority treatment under a U.S. refugee settlement program. The new criteria applied to Afghans who worked for U.S. government contractors, U.S.-funded programs and U.S.-based media or nongovernmental organizations, as well as their families.
The precise criteria remain uncertain, and the State Department hasn’t said whether part-time and contract workers for U.S. organizations would be eligible. The prospective refugees would have to get themselves out of Afghanistan to a third country at their own expense, the State Department said.
Fourteen steps? For people they presumably already know and have already worked with? Translators, spies, interpreters, other people who've taken risks for us? The time is short, the monsters are circling, and like everyone else, the visa applicants probably believed the U.S. intelligence assessments that Kabul would fall in 90 days, not 72 hours (or less). Sure, they've gotten 200 out through a refugee program called Operation Allies Rescue with 700 more in the pipeline, and 7,000 visas. But the people who need to get out, by one report, number 80,000 people, if families are included, and according to this report from Politico, there has been no U.S. planning for them, despite having several months to do it from the date that Biden announced the pullout.
With the hour late, it's probably impossible to get everyone out now, and many have been told to get out on their own, but it's still hard to understand why the U.S. can't streamline this process, conduct some triage given the circumstances, and fly these applicants out, to Kuwait, or Qatar, or Guam (whose governor has said he would gladly take them), and sort their paperwork out there. NGOs are stepping up and saying they'll pay for the flights and the keep of the refugees. But the visas? They're powerless. The continuously reported answer from State department officials is there's nothing we can do.
It's madness. Politico notes that even a FLASH message from Joe Biden himself saying to let them in might not be enough. The Journal reports that there is some effort to get the ones out who are in the latter steps of the visa process, but it's obviously not enough. Joe's on vacation of course, but it seems insane that he hasn't even tried.
The bigger irony, though, is that as these bona fide refugees are gummed up in visa paperwork, the southern border is seeing a surge of people with no serious asylum cases into the country, no questions asked. Some 50,000 of them have been let in without a court date, a paperwork nicety most ignore anyway. Others have been admitted with full-blown COVID, despite Title 42, which would normally force them back. None of them have ever done a thing for us, but they're being let in without visas, without any paperwork, without even court dates, because they serve as useful political tools for Democrats.
But for Afghanis who helped us? Despite the fact that we know who they are? They get the full 14-point visa process as the capital falls to the enemy. It's insane. The Taliban must be laughing. We owe these people some kind of way out, or good luck ever getting local collaborators the next time we ever have to hose some terrorist hellhole out. That road's being closed off, too.
Image: Screen shot from video from CBS Weekend News, via YouTube
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