The story of the Special Immigrant Visa program is the story of the Afghanistan war disaster in microcosm. From Peter Van Buren at theamericanconservative.com:
The Special Immigrant Visas program was, like the war in Afghanistan, poorly defined and poorly executed. Still is.
The story of Afghans fleeing their country seeking Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) is the story of the war.
In the hubris of 20 years ago, no one could conceive the U.S. would need to evacuate locals who worked with us. Instead, they would form the vanguard of a New Afghanistan (and then Iraq). Admitting some sort of escape program was needed was admitting our wars were failing, and so progress implementing the SIV program was purposefully very slow. When it became obvious even in Washington that we were losing, an existing State Department perk for local employees was hastily remade into a covert refugee program.
Even then, with no one wanting to really acknowledge the historic scale of our failures, the SIV program was never properly staffed to succeed. Instead, it was tarted up to appear to be doing something good while never having any plan in place to do that good, like the war itself. Admitting we had a refugee program for countries we had liberated was a tough swallow.
Now, at the end, the Afghans who trusted the SIV program—trusted us—will randomly be rushed through the pipeline to make a few happy headlines, or left behind to their fate on the ground. No one now in the government actually cares what happens to them, as long as they go away somehow. At best the SIV program will be used to create a few human-interest stories to help cover up some of the good we otherwise failed to do. Hey, Ghazari made it to America and she’s a YouTuber now!