Bipartisan support expected for Syrian interpreter visa bill

Many Indiana residents are aware that there has been controversy over President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria. Two lawmakers are introducing a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Syrian Partner Protection Act, that would reserve 4,000 visas each year for Syrian Kurds and others who assisted the U.S. in its fight against the Islamic State.

The bill is cosponsored by Republican Rep. Michael Waltz and Democratic Rep. Jason Crow. It is expected to gain bipartisan support, particularly among military veterans who are now in Congress. Waltz and Crow are retired military officers with a combat background, and Waltz was a Green Beret. The bill is similar to one enacted during the George W. Bush administration that provided visas for Iraqi and Afghan interpreters and others who worked with U.S. troops.

There has been criticism of Trump for cutting back on the number of visas granted to Afghans and Iraqis who assisted U.S. troops. The fear is that they along with Syrians and others who helped the U.S. may be in danger of retaliation. Advocates for refugees say the decline in visas granted could affect thousands of Iraqi and Afghani people who worked as interpreters and in other capacities.

The complex and fast-changing nature of immigration law can make it difficult to navigate without professional assistance. A person who is seeking a visa may want to consult an attorney to discuss the possibilities. People may be admitted to live in the U.S. because they are seeking asylum, because they have special work skills or as students. They may also be granted a visa if they have immediate family members. If a person qualifies under more than one category, the attorney might be able to advise as to which one would be likely to require a shorter processing wait.

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