I hope you don’t mind me saying, but I truthfully don’t trust every decision our government workers make. Last year about this time, there were two immigrants (they never worked with our armed forces) who were apprehended smuggling money and arms back to extremists in Iraq where they had come from. The State Dept. had made an error in letting them enter the country. One of them had fingerprints on file as having been on an IED that was found in Iraq. They were known to have connections to the “bad guys”.
NOW, the State Dept. is employing new super strict guidelines in their painfully SLOW decisions on who gets to enter the United States. If there has been any vague issue, there are interpreters that are being refused entry. This seems to me to be rather harsh in consideration of the fact that the interpreters risked their lives in service to the United States. To not allow them entry is to (basically) sign their death warrant; because eventually they will be found or recognized by these same people that are killing Iraqi youth for having American-style haircuts, clothing, or suspected to be a homosexual. Anyone associated with “the West” or tolerance of anyone “different” is a target over there.
The EXACT agency (or agencies) doing the intensive security checks will not answer questions about the checks, and apparently in most cases will not tell the reason why an interpreter is disallowed a US visa, but the letter below is from an interpreter who I believe was treated unjustly, if what he says is true (which I myself believe it to be). It would not be the first time that military personnel made an error……..I think we have seen FAR too many of errors. And I say this with all due respect for my friends who are soldiers……..I think my friends would agree. Also, I am hoping a soldier that knows the truth about this will come forward and tell it.
(below is a letter to you from an interpreter who I believe has been wrongly refused a visa. There are a few other decisions by this judging panel that I also question. I hope they will have the decency to give these few interpreters a fair appeal, and/or otherwise provide safety to these interpreters in another location). ANYONE that worked with the Americans is not safe in Iraq, and I think anyone that risked their life in service to America is due political asylum and safety.
HI ALL. I am a former Iraqi Interpreter totally worked for the United States Government as an Interpreter for four and half year, I am here today to share story with all of you, I’ve had worked with the Marine Corps in Iraq for the past three and a half year straight without problems at all, With the Marines I used to travel with them all over the country Iraq, Then I have applied for the SIV program in 2009 and I have got the Chief Of Mission in Oct 2010, When the last unit of the Marine Corps left the country the in the end of 2010, then GLS Sent me to work with the Army 3rd Infantry Division somewhere in Iraq I am not trying to mention the name of the FOB or the name of the city, Anyways I did the Interview at the United States Embassy in Baghdad in April while I was with this Army unit They did take good care of me too, Then we moved from small FOB where the Iraqi Army living at to another Iraqi Army base with the rest of the element of 3rd Infantry Division. then I lived in an Occupied room by another Interpreters at that time I found three rolls of cables and they were tight when I Informed the platoon SGT about those cables he said “it’s just a cables not yours so don’t worry about it” HE IGNORED IT and I listened to what he said and I left them sitting in my room the whole time. then in mid of June of 2011 3rd Infantry Division left the country and been replaced by the 82nd Airborne, But I didn’t Informed the new unit the 82nd Airborne about those cables because I though they going to ignore it as well. AND HERE THE TROUBLES BEGINS. I dedicated myself to the Army Company commander and platoon commander as well. it was a part of the job. and right before the 82nd Airborne wanted to leave Iraq we cleaned the FOB and about to turned it to the Iraqi Army. He found the cables in my room and he start yelling at me and screaming at me, then I told him the whole true story about the cables but he didn’t believe me. Then he asked me and I responded to his questions
(Why you have those cables in your room and who’s belong too?)
I Answered him
(Those Cables aren’t mine aren’t belong to me they were sitting in this room for long
And he asked me this.
Are you trying to make money from the U.S government Property ?
Then I answered him this
( No sir, Why would I do that. I have my salary. I have money )
and he asked me this
(Why you didn’t take them out of your room)
Then I answered him this
(They were so heavy)
Then he tried to lift them but he couldn’t
then I told him that I had Informed the last unit but they Ignored it. So I didn’t tell you about it because I though you will ignore it as well.
then he told me I will fire you, and I told him Sir you can’t just fire me like that I didn’t do anything wrong I served the U.S.G for four and half year and he didn’t respond to me. Then the 1st LT Shows up and found out. and the LT told his commander Sir my Interpreter isn’t thief. I trust him as much as I trust my soldiers. BUT Unfortunately. The Captain didn’t listen to the 1st LT as well.
then he took me to the Intelligence and the Intelligence start asking me about the cables and Interrogated me there and they took my two cell phone from me and checked them the Intelligence didn’t find anything suspicious on my two cell phone.
and they dropped me at the gate of the FOB late in the evening. and flagged me and he put my name in the black list for his MISUNDERSTANDING of me and his 1st LT. Now I can’t work with any U.S Contracted company in Iraq. and My Visa about to be revoked.
Just yesterday a sergeant got told me that, The captain was hate the Interpreters and he wanted to fire one of you guys. and he found you with the cables and he found it to easy to fire you so he accused you false accusation. Because he can. He was the commander. and that SGT don’t want me to say his name.
I am asking you for help please. I sacrificed my life and my family’s life of working with the U.S Military in Iraq. is that how you treat your allies. Save my life. As an Former Iraqi Interpreter my life now in Iraq is full with threats. I trained the Iraqi army and police and most of them knows me and can see me in Baghdad where I live. as you know some of the Iraqi army and the police are corrupt and it has a militias once they found my house and my family they will kill me and kill my family as well, HELP ME LIKE I HELPED YOU. SAVE MY LIFE LIKE I SAVED A LOTS OF AMERICANS LIVES IN IRAQ. PEOPLE I NEED YOUR HELP. HELP ME WITH ALL YOU CAN. I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP NOW.
That’s all I have got.
Best regard,(anonymous interpreter)