On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” the HBO host took aim at the process for former translators to apply for a visa and wait for approval that has only saved “a tiny percentage of people in the pipeline,” seemingly placing blame on Biden by pointing out he’s been in the White House, as vice president and now president, for nearly half the total time the U.S. has had to come up with a plan.
“This is a situation Biden’s hair should be on fire about … Because the fact is, there are thousands of Afghans who helped U.S. troops during the war who badly need to be evacuated because the Taliban very much want to kill them,” Oliver said. “Since 2014, more than 300 translators or their family members have been killed.”
Biden announced this year that all U.S. troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by September 11, ending the longest war in American history.
Oliver played a video clip of Biden declaring that those Afghans who worked as translators would have a home in the U.S. if they chose to. “We will stand with you just as you stood with us,” Biden said in the clip.
“Oh, well, that sounds great!” Oliver said sarcastically. “Although the ‘if they so choose’ part is doing a lot of work, because it’s clearly not so much their choice as it is ours. We are the ones in charge of the process.”
Oliver gave examples of some former translators applying for visas multiple times, only to have their applications rejected without any specific reason given. One even admitted to receiving phone calls from the Taliban threatening to kill him once they take over Kabul.
“The administration may point to the fact that this month, 2,500 Afghans have been flown in stages to an Army base in Virginia, and that they’re negotiating with countries like Qatar and Kuwait to house Afghans at military bases while they await visa approval, but so far, a tiny percentage of the people in the pipeline have been evacuated,” he added. “And the fact that we are just scrambling now for a plan is inexcusable when we’ve had 20 years to develop one, and for around half that time, Biden was in the White House.”
Oliver suggested the translators be brought to the U.S. while they await visa approval.