The Washington Post has a somber story of an Iraqi Interpreter whose Green Card application was recently rejected by the United States government. Saman Kareem Ahmad has spent the last four years 0f his life Interpreting in Iraq for the United States.
Working with Marines in Al Anbar province, Ahmad began receiving a slew of death threats, like so many Iraqis who have worked for the U.S. before him. He was lucky. His Marine colleagues helped him obtain a visa Application and was flown to the U.S. , where he was granted political asylum.
One of the Interesting pieces of the article was a statement made by one of Saman’s Marine comrade in arms:
“Retired Marine Capt. Jason P. Schauble, who returned from Iraq in 2004 after being wounded, is Ahmad’s official sponsor. In a letter he appended last week to Ahmad’s immigration file, Schauble condemned whatever “faceless bureaucracy” rejected the application. “I don’t know what a foreigner has to do that is greater than what Saman Ahmad has done in service to his American allies,” Schauble wrote”
Being one of the few Iraqis granted political asylum in the U.S., makes this an even more gut wrenching story, for it showcases the governments inability to untie the massive knot of bureaucracy and showcase a responsibility to people who count on this country the most.
For even when Iraqi refugees are allowed into the United States, there is no definite guarantee that they will be allowed to stay, whether , it be for permanent residence as in Saman’s case, or be it waiting out the violence and the death threats, the murder of family and friends, in order to one day return to their former lives, and pick up the pieces which have been strewn about by war and insurgency, so that they may live again.
This is what we owe the Iraqi Interpreters and all those Iraqis who sacrificed for the U.S. war effort, not to mention the millions of other Iraqis who have been displaced: The ability to live in peace, to not have to wake up to bombs, mortars, or the sound of bullets, to not have to live in the small and sequestered quarters of a refugee camp, and to not have to be a member of a diaspora which has been scattered throughout much of the globe, and has few prospects for return, except for that same damned bureaucracy that has been holding it down in the first place.