Evacuated Afghan interpreters to stay at Virginia military base
July 20, 2021 01:08 AM
The United States will use a military base in Virginia to temporarily house Afghan interpreters fleeing their home country due to the withdrawal of US forces after 20 years of war, the State Department said Monday.
Around 700 interpreters as well as their immediate family members will be taken to Fort Lee, an army post in southern Virginia, State Department spokesman Ned Price said. The interpreters -- who worked for the United States and fear for their lives as the Taliban make rapid gains in Afghanistan -- are among some 20,000 applying for asylum under so-called Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs).
"These are brave Afghans," Price said, "who have completed thorough SIV security vetting processes." "They will be provided temporary housing and services as they complete the final steps," he told reporters. Price said that Afghans who are in more initial stages of applying to move to the United States would be flown to other countries, which have not been publicly identified.