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Waltz joins with Democratic congressman to push for US to evacuate Afghan interpreters

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U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz, R-FL, speaks beside U.S. Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., during an American Legion press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Image: American Legion via Facebook

Two congressmen, Republican Mike Waltz of Florida and Democrat Jason Crow of Colorado, joined with the American Legion Wednesday to demand the evacuation of Afghan interpreters who aided U.S. soldiers.

They see a moral and strategic obligation to act now as U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

Crowe and Waltz, whose district includes Volusia and parts of Lake County, both served in combat in Afghanistan.

Their lives have depended on those Afghan allies, and for them it’s personal.

Waltz says President Biden must act now.

“If he doesn’t act, if he doesn’t get these people out,” Waltz said, “blood will be on his hands and on his administration’s hands. And I for one will very publicly and very loudly hold him accountable.”

Waltz says the 18,000 seeking special immigration visas are being killed by the Taliban even now and will be slaughtered if left behind.

“Find a third country,” he said. “I don’t care if it’s in Qatar. I don’t care if it’s in the UAE. I don’t care if it’s in Guam. We’ve done it before. We can do it again. Get them out now. Do the paperwork, the processing, the appropriate vetting later.”

Crow says bills being filed this week will raise the cap on visas and speed them up. But the evacuation depends on the White House.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.