Afghan interpreters have high hopes for relocation plan
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 21, 2009 1:46PM EDT
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Afghan interpreters say they are overjoyed to hear Ottawa is fast-tracking immigration for Afghan translators who have worked for the army and other federal agencies.
Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the long-anticipated announcement last week, saying there are Afghans who face `extraordinary personal risk' in support of Canada's mission in Kandahar.
Beginning next month, the interpreters will be offered special consideration if they wish to relocate to Canada.
One interpreter who goes by the name Robert says he lives in fear that a knock on the door or a late night phone call will mean he has been found out by the Taliban.
He says there are hundreds of Afghan workers who come to Kandahar Airfield each day and many are looking to identify those who are helping NATO.
The Afghans will not be considered refugees, but special immigrants who fall through the cracks of current law.