U.S. Law Center

House bill introduced to offer visas to Syrian Kurds

California residents may be interested to learn that a bipartisan bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide visas to Syrian Kurds who have worked as interpreters and in other capacities fighting against the Islamic State. The Syrian Partner Protection Act is similar to the special visas offered during the Bush administration to Afghanis and Iraqis who assisted the United States.

The bill's cosponsors are a Democrat from Colorado, Rep. Jason Crow, and a Republican from Florida, Rep. Michael Waltz. Both were officers in the military, and both have combat experience. The bill would ensure that 4,000 visas would be available for each year for Syrians or any other individuals who assisted the U.S. military.

Waltz is a former Green Beret and pointed out that the individuals who would be helped by the program had risked their lives to help the U.S. There is concern that they will face retaliation if they remain in their country. The bill is expected to receive bipartisan support from military veterans who have been critical of Trump's decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria.

As this story demonstrates, immigration laws and opportunities in the U.S. are changing rapidly. Even if a person is seeking to immigrate and has friends or family members who have done so, their paths may no longer be applicable to the process. An attorney may help people decide what kind of visa they might be eligible for and how to apply for it. The process can be a long and complex one, and it can be helpful to have professional assistance. Among the many pathways to immigration in the U.S. are applying for asylum or getting an H1-B visa. Students, agricultural workers, religious workers and many others may also be eligible for a visa.

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