Measure to extend visas for Iraqis advances
WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure to provide relief for Iraqis who risked their lives to help the United States may be advancing in Congress despite the government shutdown.
The special visa has allowed 12,100 Iraqi contractors, interpreters and others who aided U.S. efforts, and family members, to move to the U.S. since 2007.
It expired at midnight, with an estimated 2,000 applications still in the pipeline. But the Senate extended it by unanimous consent a half-hour ahead of Monday night’s deadline. The House had called it for its extension in a temporary spending bill and could now take it up separately.
The program was created amid targeted killings of Iraqis who helped U.S. forces or reconstruction operations.