A bill to authorize an additional 8,000 special immigrant visas for Afghan interpreters, contractors and other vulnerable allies was scheduled for House consideration on Thursday. The measure would open up the extra slots in a visa program designed to provide a safe haven for Afghan allies at risk of persecution or death if they remain in Afghanistan as the U.S. military completes its withdrawal from the country. Around 20,000 Afghans and their families are in line for the program, which has a total of 26,500 authorized slots. The State Department said around 750 SIV applicants will soon be evacuated to the U.S. and complete their processing at Fort Lee.

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