In last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, Congress cut benefits to veterans by increasing co-pays for prescriptions. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the increased co-pays saved the federal government approximately $1.5 billion. (See CBO Estimate FY2016 NDAA) However, it now appears that $336 million generated from the veterans’ cuts was used to pay for 3,000 additional Afghan interpreters to be resettled in the United States. (The Daily Caller News Foundation, May 16, 2016)

Known as the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), this program was created by Congress in 2009 for Afghan employees and contractors who were employed by the U.S. government in Afghanistan any time after October 6, 2001, and who experienced an ongoing serious threat as a result of that employment. (See P.L. 111-8; 8 U.S.C. § 1101 note 26) Initially, the annual cap on SIVs issued was 1,500 but it was increased to 4,000 in the Fiscal Year 2015 NDAA before being increased again in the Fiscal Year 2016 NDAA to 7,000. READ MORE