Forget About Syrian Refugees, America Needs To Bring Its Interpreters From Afghanistan And Iraq Back Home

Forget About Syrian Refugees, America Needs To Bring Its Interpreters From Afghanistan And Iraq Back Home

With all the talk about bringing Syrian refugees into the United States, no one is talking about the fact that American interpreters are still oversees and many of them have been captured or killed.

Shouldn’t we be bringing them home first? Here’s what an American Veteran had to say about the issue:

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Last week, President Obama decided to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States. But there’s another group of foreigners who deserve our help much more – the 50,000 men and women who served as interpreters for American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During my two deployments, I worked with countless interpreters. They were essential to my work and served at great personal risk. Interpreters are routinely killed by insurgents because they’re aiding the United States. One man I worked with was targeted by attackers who knew what car he drove and where he lived. While on the job, my interpreter’s brother took his car to town. Insurgents fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the vehicle, killing his brother and wounding his father.

Because of such dangers, many interpreters seek asylum in the United States. But while American government officials say they’re doing everything they can to bring the interpreters to safety, the State Department is chronically behind in processing their Special Immigrant Visa applications. (The SIV process is based on the process for refugee asylum but tailored specifically for individuals experiencing danger and threats tied to their service for the United States.) Just three visas were issued to Afghan translators in 2011; only 63 were given in 2012. Though Secretary of State John F. Kerry overhauled the system (the State Department processed 3,441 visas in 2014), officials estimate that there are thousands of men and women stranded at various points in the process.

 

Sounds like a good idea that we should be helping AMERICANS first over foreigners.

John Binder

John Binder is a news and political blogger for Right Wing News. Additionally, he is a New Orleans political reporter for TheHayride.com and a news blogger for ProgressivesToday.com.

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