While discussing the end of US military operations in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said on Thursday that Afghan translators will be welcome in the United States.
The comments came during a press conference in the White House East, where Biden promised to bring US troops home on August 31 – shielding nearly 20 years of US military activity in Afghanistan.
Asked by a reporter why Afghan translators could not be evacuated to the United States to await their visa processing – just as some immigrants at the southern border with the United States – Biden said: “Because the law does not allow it to happen.”
“And that’s why we’re asking Congress to consider changing the law. But in the meantime, we can guarantee their safety if they want to travel by taking them to third countries,” Biden said.
He expressed his hope that they would eventually be able to come to the United States “if that is what they choose to do.”
Lawmakers and veterans alike have pressured Biden to offer further details on how he intends to help thousands of Afghans who helped the U.S. military as translators, drivers and in other jobs now fear they will be targeted by the Taliban. that U.S. troops are leaving.
MAKED CHANGES ENDED BY US COMMISSION IN AFGHANISTAN FROM SEPT. 11 TO AUG. 31
Earlier this week, Iowan and Afghanistan interpreter Zalmay Niazy, who is facing deportation because of an interaction he had with the Taliban as a child, said on Tuesday that being forced to leave the United States would be a “death sentence”.
The White House says the administration has identified U.S. facilities outside the continental United States as well as third countries where evacuated Afghans will potentially stay while their visa applications are processed. Biden said 2,500 Afghans have been granted special immigrant visas since joining in January.
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“Our message to these women and men is clear,” Biden said. “There is a home for you in the United States if you choose. We will stand with you just as you stood with us.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.