The New York Daily News talked to an Iraqi refugee who goes by the name of Vincent about his experiences during the war in Iraq and in America. Vincent is currently a factory worker saving money to earn an engineering degree, but 10 years ago he a draftee in Saddam Hussien’s army. When he heard over the radio about US troops invading, he deserted and became a translator for the army.
“We are considered spies or agents working for the Americans,” said Vincent on Wednesday, as the world marked the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war.
“There are people actually who are willing to kill me just for that reason.”
Vincent cannot go home. He is not the only one who will likely never see his family in Iraq again because he helped American soldiers. But at least Vincent is safe.
Fewer than 6,000 of the more than 25,000 allotted primary Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis who worked for the U.S. military, government or contractors during the war have been issued since 2008, according to State Department figures.
Thousands more dependent family members have also taken refuge in the U.S. But advocates, including the International Rescue Committee, which helped resettle Vincent here, believe the safety of too many Iraqis is up in the air.
The New Ypork Daily News is not the first to report about the many American allies still terrified for their lives. The refugee crisis in Iraq is real and deadly. This is not something that will go away and it is not a complete defeat to take refugees in from a new, struggling democracy. If it was, the US would not take in refugees from Sudan and Somalia.
Though may be this should not be a surprise, considering the upcoming US termination of their resettlement program of refugees from Burma.
America was once considered a place of refuge and freedom for the tired, poor and downtrodden of the world. This is rapidly changing.