Topic

us embassy kabul

4 petitions

This petition won 4 years ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State

Save my Afghan interpreter

When I served as an Embedded Combat Adviser in Afghanistan, my interpreter, Janis Shinwari, saved my life. Now I need you to help me save Janis’ life. In 2008, Janis and I were caught in the middle of a firefight. He took swift action when a combatant shot at me. But beyond that specific incident, Janis served a critical role for me and all of the other troops serving in Afghanistan. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals.  However, because they are so visible in their communities, many interpreters have become targets for violence. Janis knows for a fact that the Taliban has added his name to a kill list and he is in constant danger. For the moment, he is living safely on an army base, but he needs to leave the country immediately to ensure his safety and that of his family. The US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters like Janis are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are weeks away from expiring unless Congress takes action to renew them. Janis began his application for a US Visa in 2011. Today, he is still waiting for the US Embassy in Kabul to issue him the visa he has earned. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Janis leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. I know first hand how critical interpreters like Janis are to our troops serving overseas. It’s time that the US do the right thing and help Janis escape the dangerous situation he’s in because of the work that he did for our country.  Please join me in calling on the US Embassy in Kabul and the State Department to help save Janis life by issuing his visa immediately.

Matt Zeller
113,418 supporters
This petition won 1 year ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, US Department of State

Help save Ehsan, the interpreter in Afghanistan who helped US troops

Thanks to a previous Change.org petition, I was able to help Janis Shinwari, my interpreter while I served as a base intelligence officer in Afghanistan, secure a visa to resettle in the US after he was stuck for years in bureaucratic red tape. Now I need your help again to save my other interpreter, Ehsan.  While serving in Iraq in 2008, I learned that the help of local Afghan nationals like Janis and Ehsan was critical to our effort. Thousands of Afghan nationals have served as interpreters to assist US troops in communicating in real time and providing a cultural link between the troops and Afghan nationals. It wasn’t until after my service, when I learned that Janis’ life was in danger as he was placed on a Taliban kill list because of his work to help US troops, that I truly understand how much these brave individuals put on the line. Every day, many of these interpreters live in fear that they or their families will be harmed in retaliation for their efforts -- a very real and deadly threat. Like Janis, Ehsan is an amazing man. During our time together, Ehsan helped my unit and I interdict over 7 tons (millions of dollars worth) of drugs used by the Taliban to fund their attacks. The Taliban know this and as a result placed him on their kill list. Without our help, he could die.  Luckily, the US operates a specific visa program for Afghan nationals who serve as interpreters who want to relocate to the US -- and there is a similar program for interpreters in Iraq. The program was created through legislation in 2009 (the Afghan Allies Protection Act), but thousands of interpreters are still waiting for their visas. The process is incredibly complicated for applicants and bureaucrat hold ups leave interpreters waiting in dangerous situations for months or even years. Now, both programs are set to expire in the coming months unless Congress takes action to renew them. When my previous campaign took off, Janis’ application started moving faster and now Janis has his visa to safety. I don't think I've ever heard him as happy as when he finally received his visa. Ehsan, my other interpreter, heard all about our efforts to help Janis and contacted me begging that I do for him what I did for Janis. Ehsan submitted his application to the US Embassy in Kabul in June 2012 but he’s still waiting for his visa. The Embassy and the State Department have the power to help Ehsan leave Afghanistan and start a life in a safe place. Together, we can help make that happen.

Matt Zeller
116,611 supporters
This petition won 3 years ago

Petition to US Department of State, US Embassy of Kabul: Special Immigration Visa

Bring Hayat Home; An Afghan who served in the US Military

Hayat, an Afghan national, worked for the US military and government contractors for 8 years as an interpreter and a soldier. He was my father's interpreter when he worked in Afghanistan for a reconstruction company. He is like a brother to me. Hayat has served this country with the utmost honor and respect and the least we can do is give him a chance to live a free life. But because of Hayat's service to the US military, he's now a wanted man and the Taliban are hunting him as we speak. The Taliban have killed his grandmother, as well as his nephew and cousin, and have forced Hayat into hiding. To escape to safety, Hayat first applied for a special immigration visa to the US -- a program designed to help interpreters who worked for US troops -- in 2006. After having his application rejected several times because he was "too valuable to lose," according to the State Department, he finally got approval in 2013. But he still has not received his visa. The State Department is dragging their feet in processing his application either because they are incompetent or because they don't care, or both. We've heard that other interpreters from Afghanistan have received their visas after online campaigns were launched to support them and we're hoping this petition will help bring Hayat to his new and safe home with us in Indiana. Please sign this petition to ask the US Embassy at Kabul and the US State Department to speed up Hayat's visa process and give him the freedom he has valiently fought for and has been waiting for nearly eight years now!

Haley Norris
116,708 supporters
This petition won 4 years ago

Petition to US Embassy in Kabul, Media Relations, State Department Headquarters

Reunite Afghan interpreter with his family in the U.S.

This is our 16-month-old son, Ryhan. He has never seen his father in person. I need your support to help my husband secure a visa so that my family can be reunited. My husband is a native Afghan interpreter. We originally met 5 years ago, when I deployed to Afghanistan with the Utah Army National Guard. Two years ago, I went back to Afghanistan on my own to get married in Kabul.  My husband has worked with US soldiers, Marines, and Special Forces in one of the most dangerous areas of Afghanistan. Like the thousands of Afghan interpreters who give so much to our troops, his life would be in immediate danger if his name or photograph were publicly exposed, so I can't share that here.  Every interpreter who helps our military in Afghanistan is risking their life for our country. They all deserve the opportunity to live in peace in this country they have sacrificed for. However, the processing of their visas is very slow due to bureaucratic inefficiency. My husband and I have been waiting for nearly 2 years for his visa to finish processing. I heard about another veteran who successfully secured a visa for an interpreter he worked with while serving in Afghanistan through a similar Change.org petition. I hope that with your help, the US Department of State and the US Embassy in Kabul will finally issue my husband a visa. Please support us in asking for a visa for my husband to bring our family together at last.

Mary Ann Rollins
13,762 supporters