Tags: Afghanistan | Veterans | veterans | benefits | afghan | translators | cuts

Special Visa Program Funded With Cuts to Veterans

Image: Special Visa Program Funded With Cuts to Veterans
(Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:54 PM

A program to bring Afghan translators, who helped American Armed Forces in the war now come to the United States was funded in Congress by taking away benefits from U.S. veterans, The Daily Caller News Foundation reports.

An attempt to further expand the Special Immigrant Visa program this year is being put on hold due to objections that the money to pay for it would again come from a cut in benefits to veterans.

Last year's budget included $336 million to bring an additional 3,000 interpreters to the U.S., money that was generated by making U.S. veterans increase their pharmacy co-payments.

A spokesman for the Armed Services Committee, however, said the co-payments were instituted not as a way to pay for the extra visas but to cut out waste when veterans buy drugs at pharmacies rather that use free ones available at military treatment centers.

But others argued that even if this was the case, the money saved was not used to support other veterans' programs.

The disagreement over this issue is preventing another boost in available special visas this year, thus denying 6,000 deserving Afghan interpreters the chance to come to the U.S. under the auspices of the program, The Washington Examiner reports.

The Armed Services Committee is not agreeing to further increase veteran co-payments. And attempts to limit the number of interpreters allowed under the program by tightening the eligibility rules has come under criticism as a blatant breaking of American promises.

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A program to bring Afghan translators, who helped American Armed Forces in the war effort there, to the United States was funded in Congress by taking away benefits from U.S. veterans, The Daily Caller News Foundation reports.
veterans, benefits, afghan, translators, cuts
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016 01:54 PM
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