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Connections

Discussing how the earthquake in Turkey has affected the Special Immigrant Visa program

 Ellen Smith and Rasteen on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Megan Mack
/
WXXI News
Ellen Smith and Rasteen on "Connections with Evan Dawson" on Wednesday, March 1, 2023

For some Afghan refugees who served the U.S. military and are facing death threats from the Taliban, a new obstacle has hindered their safe travel to the United States. Refugees hoping to come to the U.S. on Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) must navigate red tape, but for those living in Turkey, the process has become even more backlogged due to the recent earthquake.

This hour, we talk with representatives from Keeping Our Promise, which assists refugees in the SIV program. They share the latest in their efforts:

  • Ellen Smith, executive director of Keeping Our Promise
  • Faheem Asfe, Afghan refugee who served the U.S. government and is now living in Turkey
  • Jerry Orange, advocate who is assisting with Faheem Asfe’s SIV application process
  • Mayar, Afghan refugee who served the U.S. government and is now living in Honeoye Falls
  • Rasteen, Afghan refugee who served the U.S. government and is now living in Honeoye Falls
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.