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Visa program stalled in Congress

Regular readers of our Staten Island immigration and naturalization law blog know that we cover a wide range of topics, including deportation issues, family-based visas, comprehensive immigration reform, employment-based visas and much more.

The New York Times recently shed light on an immigration issue getting little attention elsewhere: translators in Afghanistan and Iraq who were promised visas in exchange for their work helping the U.S. military.

Congress is currently in a stalemate over renewing the special visa program. The legislative paralysis adversely affects approximately 12,000 Afghans, the newspaper reported.

The brigadier general who is spokesperson for the American force in Afghanistan said the military has been trying to tell Afghans that the U.S. is committed to their embattled nation. But the halt in promised visas undercuts that important message, he said.

Sen. John McCain, chair of the Senate's Armed Services Committee warns fellow Republicans who oppose renewal of the visa program that people will die as a result.

The program has had bipartisan support for more than 8 years, the Times points out, but is stalled because of apparent growing unease some members of Congress have with allowing immigration of any sort, but especially immigration from the Middle East.

Perhaps once the election has passed political tensions will ease and the program will be renewed.

There is no doubt that people from all over the world face challenges trying to navigate the U.S. immigration system. A skilled attorney focused on immigration and naturalization can help you navigate a complex system.

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