On Monday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan made a false statement during a press conference, claiming that the Trump Administration had not processed any Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) for Afghan civilians who assisted American troops since March of 2020, according to the Daily Caller.
Although the Trump Administration did not interview any Afghan SIV applicants since March 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department had confirmed in its quarterly reports that thousands of such applications had indeed been processed and issued during that time. Roughly 1,300 SIVs were issued to Afghan civilians between October and December of 2020. Just under 300 SIVs were issued between April and September of last year.
Nevertheless, Sullivan claimed that the Biden Administration would seek to cut down “months and months” from the length of the original SIV process in order to expedite the issuing of such visas, as the nation of Afghanistan collapses under an offensive by the Taliban. One White House spokesperson claimed that the administration had already reduced the overall timeframe of the SIV application process by 50 percent; from April to July, over 5,600 visas were issued.
The plight of Afghan civilians still trapped in Afghanistan who are against the revived Taliban rule has become just one of the many aspects of the botched withdrawal that has earned Joe Biden nearly universal condemnation. After the capital city of Kabul fell to Taliban forces on August 15th, the evacuation process descended into chaos, with thousands of American civilians and Afghan allies alike still trapped behind enemy lines. The Taliban has seized control of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, greatly hindering any possible evacuation procedures.