Interpreters for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq have for some time had difficulty getting admission to the United States, in spite of the undoubted peril they are in. U.S. withdrawal has hit these allies of America especially hard. As the Taliban retake areas of the Afghan hinterland, and Islamic State and other jihadi groups vie for territory in Iraq, the interpreters who risked their lives to work with American troops have found themselves increasingly in danger, with bounties on their heads and threats to their families.
In just one of many cases, interpreter Salkhidad Afghan, who had worked with the Marines and Air Force since 2008, was murdered by the Taliban in May 2015, near Herat. Afghan officials said he had been hunted down, kidnapped, and tortured.
Mr. Afghan applied for a U.S. visa in 2011 — and in 2015 was still waiting.