- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - An Illinois congressman is among a bipartisan group of lawmakers who want to extend a special immigrant visa program for Afghan civilians who worked alongside the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is a Republican from Channahon and a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a statement Thursday he says Afghans who risked their lives to help U.S. forces “deserve to know that the United States will honor the promises made to them and their families.”

The program provides visas to Afghan civilians who face threats because they assisted the U.S. mission. The program is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year.

Kinzinger and other lawmakers introduced legislation late Wednesday that would extend the program another year. It also would authorize additional visas.