Understanding experiences with betrayal and anticipation of reintegration among former US military-affiliated Afghan interpreters
The Corioli team is collecting life histories and phenomena related to experiences with betrayal as well as anticipation of reintegration through semi-structured interviews. The project centers around the population of former Afghan interpreters that worked with the US military now displaced into Pakistan. These interpreters are eligible for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) to the US for their work with the US military, however, the process to obtain that visa is long and riddled with inefficiencies and bureaucratic stalling. The crisis in Afghanistan has therefore pushed a lot of these interpreters awaiting visa approval into Pakistan. As they are forced to wait for visa slots with the US embassy to become available for themselves and their families, their status as illegal migrants in Pakistan leaves them unable to work. They are thus pushed into living in camps or under highly marginalized conditions awaiting what their due.
The Corioli Institute, in partnership with No One Left Behind, will be conducting research with them in Islamabad, focusing specifically on the fact that these individuals are currently living amidst what they often understand as a betrayal by the US government to them in terms of issuing a visa that they are due because of the service they provided. This case is particularly remarkable in terms of this segment of the population’s experience with betrayal and their journey in building trust. While sometimes those betrayals could have happened years or decades prior, this is a population that is in the midst of experiencing the betrayal.