American Elephants


A Few Words of Praise for Congress by The Elephant's Child

Operation Enduring Freedom

Before you get hung up on the “do-nothing Congress” theme, it’s time for a moment of praise. Before they left for their summer break, the Senate unanimously passed an extension to the U. S. visa program for at-risk Afghan translators who worked with American troops in Afghanistan. Many of them are living under the threat of retribution from the Taliban. The measure to issue another 1.000 visas was also passed by the House of Representatives unanimously.

The program had been criticized by advocates for the military translators, for its bureaucracy, opaqueness and slow pace. Recent reforms have improved the program to the point where for the first time the U.S. State Department ran out of the number of visas that Congress had authorized.

State has been distributing an average of 400 visas a month after reforms, which include the appointment of a coordinator between the State Department and agencies that conduct security and background vetting of visa candidates. It is the right thing to do, and a matter of national honor.

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