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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

WILL AMERICA ABANDON THOSE WHO HAVE RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR US?

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Simply shameful. Regardless of how the typical America feels about the war in Iraq, most would agree that individuals who have served as translators, medics and in other jobs aiding the US armed forces in the country should be granted safe haven in the US given that they face a ruthless and quick execution if they are left unprotected. And it's not just them - their family members and even their neighbors face death if they are discovered.



Now we learn that despite the fact that Congress and the President passed legislation authorizing 25,000 interpreters and other Iraqis who have aided Coalition forces (12,500 per year for this year and a like number for next year), the State Department won't work a sizable portion of the applications. For this year, 5,000 applicants were authorized and the State Department only managed to process less than 1,000.



One is reminded of other shameful periods in our past when we abandoned people we promised to help. The rapid US departure from Vietnam in 1975 and the abandonment of many people who played a similar helping role in that past war, for example. Or in an earlier period, the deliberate foot-dragging by the State Department in issuing visas to qualified immigrants seeking to flee Nazi persecution in Europe. So many lost their lives in both cases.



As it grows more and more apparent that the US will be exiting Iraq in the not so distant future, the stakes are growing higher. Will the State Department let us down and allow for a massacre to take place? There is still time to address this looming humanitarian disaster. Let us hope that I am not blogging in the future about how many people died because of DOS' failure to carry out its mandate.

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  1. George Chell's Avatar
    This is not very different from how Americans behave towards taxes and other revenue raising measures, although this is not deadly in the human sense. Americans refuse to include specific budget cuts in a tax cut referendum, ie., they want the services and they dont want to pay for it. Similarly most Americans would love the services of Iraqis but dont want those who helped us moving into the US and the State Department reflects this will of the people. So please blame the American people, not their reps.
  2. brad's Avatar
    >> Similarly most Americans would love the services of Iraqis but dont want those who helped us moving into the US

    I use the services of bus drivers and janitors everyday but I don't invite them to live in my house. Many men use the services of prostitutes too, but that doesn't mean they have to marry them.
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    "Many men use the services of prostitutes too, but that doesn't mean they have to marry them."

    We all know about the irresponsibility of the American men, Brad. No need to educate us. We all know about the Amerasian children. You just proved the point.
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "I use the services of bus drivers and janitors everyday but I don't invite them to live in my house."

    Would be so wonderful to keep the help where they belong, would not it! Oh, those good ole days of slavery and segregation!
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