US-Afghan interpreters are still stranded sisters in Kabul

According to interpreters, it could take 14 years for the State Department to process a visa application for a sister of a former US Afghan interpreter stuck in Kabul.

The Taliban still seeks revenge on those who have worked with the US government, so she fears her sister may not be that long.

The Epoch Times withholds the interpreter and her sister’s name to protect the identity of the latter from the Taliban. According to a former interpreter, her sisters had already had to move once in Kabul after a local US television station aired her image in September.

The interpreter was interviewed by The Epoch Times last September after barely fleeing Afghanistan during the chaotic withdrawal of the US military in late August. Her sister wasn’t so lucky, as the interpreter explained at the time.

The two women are forced to wait in line for more than 48 hours outside Kabul Airport, standing in the scorching sun with no food or water, sleeping in garbage and dung, and being trampled. Was dealt with. A herd of potential refugees.

Women sometimes fainted from fatigue in each other’s arms. Finally, they arrived at the gate, where the interpreter presented her American passport to the US Marine Corps.

Instead of ensuring them safe, the Marines said, “To me. [expletive deleted]Wait behind the line, and what he didn’t give [expletive deleted]The interpreter told The Epoch Times in September.

At that point in the trial, the interpreter said her sister had fainted. When she woke up, her sister asked her to go home — she stays there to this day. Unlike her interpreter, her sister lived in Afghanistan for the rest of her life and gave up her hope of going to the United States.

Since August, the interpreter has been working to get her sister out of Kabul. But she said the process was frustratingly slow.

“I have a rescue team that can do her evacuation, but State Department rules say she needs a visa first,” she said. “Until then, she will just have to wait.”

As siblings, the interpreter’s sister falls into the “F4” category of the Department of State family-sponsored visa application process. The Department of State limits the number of such annual applicants based on the standards described in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

According to the interpreter, her sister is at the bottom of the State Department’s list of priorities.

“They are telling me that she falls into category 4 because I’m her sister,” the interpreter said. “This is a 14-year waiting list.”

Unbearable for 14 years of waiting, the interpreter switched to submitting what she called a “humanitarian case” to the State Department. The US Government has approved parole for visa requirements “for urgent humanitarian or significant public interest reasons.”

“Basically, we’re starting over. Needless to say, the Biden administration hasn’t ruled out any more parole cases,” the interpreter said. I explained that it was late. In Kabul.

The State Department refused to comment on individual cases, but provided the following statement: Leave Afghanistan.

As I said earlier, we are relentless in this effort because we support Afghanistan’s allies and their families, “a State Department spokesman said, a potential delay in visa application is” Afghanistan. It’s not unique to. “

The interpreter said she wasn’t the only one struggling.

“I have friends and a mother with children. Her husband worked with an American. [The U.S. government] I had to do an interview with his family, but there was no US embassy in Afghanistan, “the interpreter said. “I’m one of 100,000.”

According to the interpreter, her friend’s husband hired a lawyer and spent more than $ 5,000 to travel to Pakistan, where he is waiting for a call from the State Department.

“He’s still waiting to be processed, but he doesn’t even have the case number,” the interpreter said.

The interpreter’s friend is one of the lucky ones with a passport. People without documents are rejected at the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The State Department wants [refugees] I’m going somewhere for an interview. But Pakistanis want them to have a passport, and the Taliban have not issued a passport, “she said.

The interpreter said her frustration was exacerbated by the fact that other refugees and migrants were pouring into the country without government oversight.

“I also personally sponsor her and fulfill her financial responsibilities. Others will benefit all taxpayers,” she said.

“I’m just grieving.”

Ken Silva


Ken Silva covers the national security issues of The Epoch Times. His reporting career also includes cybersecurity, crime and offshore finance. This includes three years as a journalist in the British Virgin Islands and two years in the Cayman Islands. Contact him at [email protected]