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Refugees from Afghanistan face dwindling chance for visas

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The proximity of Maryland to the District of Columbia places its immigrant community close to the restrictions emerging from the U.S. Department of State. Visas meant to enable Afghans who aided U.S. military forces to come to the country and escape persecution in their homeland appear to be running out. A request made in the late months of the Obama administration for 4,000 more visas for Afghans resulted in Congress approving only 1,500 more Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans.

An official from the State Department revealed that only 1,437 visas remain available currently. Immigration advocates insist that the Afghans who helped the military need to come to the United States because the Taliban continually hunts them down in their homeland.

Iraqis who worked for U.S. forces have also experienced similar difficulty in entering the United States. A lawsuit filed by nine Iraqi translators demanded an end to delays in the processing of their visa applications. They had gone five years without an answer. A representative from the International Refugee Assistance Project said that U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan would suffer if the federal government stopped allowing those who help them immigrate.

A person concerned about the immigration process might seek out legal representation. Information about the requirements to qualify for a work visa, family visa or asylum could be provided by an attorney. The person might learn about legal rights under U.S. immigration law and gain insights into the procedures for approaching immigration authorities. The efforts of an attorney might enable the person to fill out applications and answer questions. An attorney might also challenge the denial of an application and prepare an appeal.

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