The Raben Group is pushing for action on special immigrant visa for Afghans, especially those who directly assisted the U.S.-led military effort there.
The New York Times reported April 14 an estimated 8,000 Afghan interpreters could be targeted to death by the Taliban.
That threat will intensify as the U.S. military eyes a withdrawal from Afghanistan next year. One Afghan is reportedly killed every 36 hours due to cooperation with the Americans.
The Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 allowed 7,500 special immigrant visas over the next five years. There is a backlog of more than 5,000 visa application backlog at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
The Raben Group is working on behalf of the New York-based Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, which was founded by Yale Law School graduates.
On its website, IRAP says it provides legal assistance on visa applications to Iraqis who were American interpreters, victims of sexual abuse, torture and members of the LGBT community facing “life and death” situations. It has helped resettle more than 1,000 Iraqis in seven countries.
Robert Raben, a former aide to Congressman Barney Frank and assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, heads the Washington-headquartered lobbying, PA and strategic communications firm.
Patricia First, counsel to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and ex-trial lawyer in the Justice Dept.’s civil rights division voting division, leads the effort for the Afghans.