Dr. Jeffrey L. Carson
Dr. Neenah Estrella-Luna
Since the Vietnam War, the US President and Congress have used various means to evacuate and admit US allies to protect those who work with and for the US government. The Special Immigrant Visa is the current mechanism used to protect allies in Afghanistan and Iraq whose lives have been threatened because of their work with the US government and allied forces. It is a little known but extremely valuable tool in the US foreign policy world. The authors review the legal and political background of the Special Immigrant Visa and its predecessors. They interview refugees admitted to the US under this program, advocacy organizations supporting them, and government officials responsible for implementing it. This study comes at an important time when refugees, including Special Immigrant Visa-holders, are under threat by a presidential administration committed to deporting as many foreign-born people as possible, including those who risked their lives for our foreign policy. This analysis demonstrates that the Special Immigrant Visa program needs to be updated to address the current socio-political and economic reality in the US. They make recommendations to strengthen the program, calling on everyone from Congress to the National Guard to the US states to assist and protect those who believed our promises and lost almost everything to support our military and foreign policy.