First Group of Afghan Translators Arrive in U.S. as Others Fear Taliban Reprisal
About 200 Afghan translators and interpreters arrived in the U.S. Friday after years of helping U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But those still waiting for their applications to be approved are worried the Taliban may kill them before ever hearing back. “We need to get out of the country. They are looking after us,” one interpreter said to CNN. The U.S. said it was working to put some Afghan natives on to U.S. military bases or in other countries to complete their applications in safety, but many fear the Taliban may get to them first. The fundamentalist militia has set up checkpoints across the country, including on the path to Kabul, where applications are being received. According to some of the translators, the Taliban is executing people it believes helped U.S. forces. Another translator said Taliban forces searched extensively for him, burning his house down as he completed an overnight trek to Kabul. To him, “our future will be dark” if he cannot leave Afghanistan.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said in an MSNBC interview that the State Department is facing a two- to four-year backlog of interpreter visa applications.