John Oliver Confronts the Interpreters We Left Behind

This Sunday night on HBO's Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took the U.S government to task for forsaking Afghan translators who helped save American lives. No visas to enter the United States will be issued after December 31st, but what's worse only a small fraction of all applicants — a total of three in 2011 — are cleared to immigrate. And as the military pulls out of the war-town country, the translators left behind have become fast targets for the Taliban. 

In the April issue of Men's Journal, Paul Solotaroff wrote "The Friends We Left Behind" which focused on the fight in the United States to get these translators safely to the U.S., and featured many of the the same characters, including Mohammad, who Oliver interviews at the end of the show. Solotaroff followed in the August issue with another feature, "Stranded," where he followed up with interpreters Rafi Nashimi, Janis Shinwari, Ajmal Faqiri, and Mohammad Alami, as they struggled to make it in the U.S. 

Oliver picks up from there, insightfully — and humorously — digging into the myriad of bureaucratic barriers of a 14-step approval process that includes an interview at the U.S. embassy, which isn't currently scheduling interviews, and questions like, "Are you coming to the U.S. to practice polygamy?"