“The seriousness of this and the ramifications of those people being left behind is very, very frightening. So I urge everybody to please reach out to their congressmen and senators and put some pressure on the Biden administration to get this done,” Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard told “America’s Newsroom.“
Gossard learned about No One Left Behind a “few days ago” and got involved with the No One Left Behind SIV organization, whose ambassador, Ahmadullah Sediqi, joined the interview.
As U.S. forces continue their withdrawal from Afghanistan, Taliban fighters have taken over dozens of abandoned bases in recent days – raising questions about the fate of 18,000 Afghan interpreters – who risked their lives to work with the U.S. government.
No One Left Behind is the only nationwide nonprofit that supports interpreters for U.S. troops. The organization “tries to fix the State Department’s 14-step SIV process with it’s 3.5-year wait time and by providing emergency financial aid and used vehicles to newly-arrived interpreters.”
They helped 636 SIV families in 93 cities in 20 states with over $430,000 last year.
The U.S. military’s top officer told Fox News the American military is ready to evacuate them, but it’s not up to him.
“There are plans being developed very, very rapidly here for not just interpreters, but a lot of other people that have worked with the United States,” said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, aboard a U.S. military aircraft returning from the Air Force Academy Wednesday. “We have a moral commitment to those that helped us.”
No One Left Behind has documented over 300 interpreters and their family members killed since 2014.
The State Department evacuated and repatriated 100,000 Americans from around the world when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Sediqi said No One Left Behind’s main concern is U.S. withdrawal and to act as a voice for Afghans who helped U.S. troops during the war and could be under threat from the Taliban.
“This is not only my voice but this is the voice of all those interpreters who are still waiting on their VISAs. Most of them don’t have access to the internet and they reach out to us. The main concern is the U.S. withdrawal, once the U.S. is coming out of the country and they will leave thousands of people behind,” Sediqi said.