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Blinken says administration is 'considering every option' to assist Afghans who helped US but lawmakers are 'frustrated'

June 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22.5%. 1 min read.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that the Biden administration is looking "at every possible contingency" to help thousands of Afghans who may be at risk of retaliation from the Taliban after US forces withdraw but his answers left lawmakers and advocates frustrated.

Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that the Biden administration is looking "at every possible contingency" to help thousands of Afghans who may be at risk of retaliation from the Taliban after US forces withdraw but his answers left lawmakers and advocates frustrated.

Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas, the lead Republican on the committee, called on the Biden administration to evacuate any person in Afghanistan who has reached a "significant stage" in the vetting process for a Special Immigrant Visa to a third country while they await approval, and he pressed Blinken for details on how the administration is handling this challenge as the US troop withdrawal deadline of September 11 is just months away.

Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the State Department had added 50 people to deal with the backlog in processing applicants for Special Immigrant Visas -- a suggestion in a report from the State Department Office of the Inspector General last year.

As lawmakers worried aloud about the fate of Afghan interpreters and others who assisted the US, Blinken said that increased violence against those seeking Special Immigrant Visas may not occur immediately after US troops leave the country and argued that the US will still have significant leverage.

by summa-bot

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