WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure to provide special visas for Iraqis who risked their lives to help the United States is one step closer to securing President Barack Obama's signature.
By voice vote late Wednesday, the House passed the measure and sent it to the Senate, which is expected to approve it Thursday.
The special visa has allowed more than 12,000 Iraqi contractors, interpreters and others who aided U.S. efforts, and family members, to move to the United States since 2007. It expired earlier this week, but the Senate extended it a half-hour ahead of Monday night's deadline.
The program was created during the worst years of the Iraq war, with Iraqis who helped U.S. forces facing targeted killings, death threats and other forms of harassment.