Below are some of the requests in SIV applications from Afghan translators and interpreters. They detail their threats, some simply say ‘help’ and others reach out directly to the White House in hopes of staying alive. Some of the passages have been paraphrased. None have been identified because of the ongoing safety concerns they face in Afghanistan.
‘SIV is our last hope of staying alive.’
‘I have served for more than two years as an interpreter/translator and more than seven years on the USAID funded projects in Afghanistan. My visa is pending administrative processing for no reason besides waiting for my recommendation letter.’
‘I did my medical on September 16, 2020 , but am still waiting for issues to be resolved.’
‘The embassy has cancelled my application for (unfaithful services), a general term they are putting for thousands of translators to cancel their petitions. Contrary to the fact that we risked our lives, our entire family and could have been killed.’
‘I have worked with oil companies as an supervisor also worked with US army and coalition forces as an translator.
‘I applied for SIV in August 2014. I was finally down to my interview at the Kabul US Embassy September 2018. Then the Console Section gave me a yellow card and told me to bring a new recommendation from my supervisor. I haven’t been able to find him in two years because his email is not working and I don’t have his personal email address. My family is in trouble. I am still receiving threats from ISIS and the Taliban. I don’t know where I can go or or to whom I can tell my problems.’
‘Kindly pass our message on that we have suffered a lot for American soldiers. We have worked with them honestly for a bright future. Now we have been left behind, and no excuses have been given.’
‘Me and my family are living under serious threat in Afghanistan.’
‘I want to speed up our case. We are still living in fear and we have been waiting for asylum into the US for so long.’
‘I have been waiting for my visa since 2016. I started working for the US Special Forces in 2009 until 2013.Then our program closed in 205. Since then I have been working with US ASS Mentors at COB Morehead in Kabul. I am still an interpreter, and as you know we are at risk of threat and violence in Afghanistan. It’s very hard to live any more because of my work for the US government. Please save my life, my two children and my wife.’
‘In April 2020, the State Department Consular section in Baghdad refused my SIV case. It seems loyalty to U.S. goals are not appreciated, just like 100s of American soldiers who returned home and were not taken care of. No surprise at all.’
‘I have been waiting for my SIV case to process for four years. More than four of my close friends have lost their lives. After our work with the US, we have put the lives of our family members in great danger and the future for us is uncertain.’
‘Please save our lives. We risked our lives for your forces.
‘We have given our time, our life, and our integrity. Please expedite the process.’
‘I worked with US special forces as interpreter, but I have still been left behind.’
‘My life is really in danger due to working with US forces in Afghanistan. I have been followed by the Taliban. My house is under the threat of attack. I applied for an SIV when I got married. My daughter is five and my son is two, and I am still waiting for an interview.’
‘I have been waiting 14 years and I am still waiting to get my visa. The guys running the SIV program are not working as much as they should. I wish you were in my position, so they could feel what I am. Then you would have to run the system like hell to save us. Thank you.’
‘All linguists are in a very bad situation. If the Taliban or Sisi see us, they will cut our heads from our bodies. Help us please.’
‘Please resume interviews at the US Embassy in Kabul.’
‘We interpreters need your consideration for speeding up the process because our security is getting worse by the day.’
‘Mr. President, every day in Kabul is deadly, and we can not live in our villages. We are very happy that you were elected. These are the real values of the United States. We want an executive order to move all barriers of employment.’
‘President Biden, we hope we can see changes in the SIV program and an easier way to facilitate the process, especially for the ones who been waiting for years.’
‘I have been attacked couple times. The first attack was by ISIL, but, I managed to flee. The second attack was an IED at my house door. It exploded and destroyed most of my home, but God saved me. Since then I flee from one place to another.
‘Mr. Biden please help me.’
‘Everybody knows that here in Afghanistan the conditions are getting worse day by day, so we are humbly requesting from the new elected US president Joe Biden and vice president Harris to speed up our all SIV applicant’s cases.’
‘The Taliban killed my brother while working with Chemonics in Helmand in 2005. They have been treating me since then, but I could not go my village in Paktia from 2006. But I do not know why my application has been rejected where I had worked with the USAID.
‘I know that president-elect Biden and Vice president- elect Harris have the kind of personalities that believe ‘nothing makes them happier than making someone else happy, especially for those who really needs help and assistant’. The kindness we put out into the world always finds a way of coming back to us.’
‘I request to the respected President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Harris to keep our families safe.’
‘Mr. Biden. For more than eight years I have been employee on behalf of the US government here in Afghanistan. I have been known as US government supporter in the region and I have suffered several threats as a result. My US supervisor recommended me for the SIV program, but all his contacts are off. I don’t know whether my supervisor is alive or not, but one thing is clear is that we have truly supported and helped the U.S. government. Every moment for us we live under threat. Please resolve the issue or me and my family will be killed one day.’
‘I’ve been waiting all these years. I wish President Biden would make my dreams come true.’