The White House is assembling a plan to rescue Afghan interpreters and others who have helped the U.S. over the past 20 years by helping them to get out of Afghanistan and, ultimately, to the U.S., officials said.
U.S. officials said they have already identified thousands of such workers whose applications for the special visas are in the pipeline, a senior administration official said.
Officials declined to say how many people were under immediate review, where they could be taken, or how.
The New York Times, which reported the plan earlier Thursday, said up to 53,000 family members also are potentially affected.
The U.S. military, eager to assist Afghans who have helped military units over the years with interpretation and other duties, previously has said it had a plan to evacuate those individuals, which would represent a significant airlift operation.
U.S, U.S . State Department, New York Times