On Wednesday, June 11, the congressional committee, the US Helsinki Commission chaired by Congressman Alcee Hastings and Senator Benjamin Cardin, hosted a hearing with The List Project. The testimony is available here and below are select quotations.
In reference to the personnel at the new in-country processing facility, enacted by the Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act, founder of The List Project, Kirk Johnson, had this to say:
Their laudable work on the ground, however, has not been accorded the resources necessary to successfully implement this legislation. Iraqis are granted interviews but accessing those interviews is a Herculean challenge. Our lawyers have had to tap informal networks of colleagues working as contractors and federal employees in the Green Zone who do not work at the State Department but assist the process by escorting Iraqis through checkpoints and into the Palace. It is safe to say that without these connections that we retain due to our own service in Iraq, the Iraqis on the List would be unable to reach their interviews.
“Ibrahim,” an Iraqi working for USAID who Kirk Johnson helped relocate to the US, had this to say:
USAID had Foreign Service National Committee that represented the Iraqi staff. I was a member of that committee. When the first Iraqis were killed because they worked for the United States, the FSN Committee asked the US to stop exposing us to needless dangers. For example, our identity was never protected. our photos and names were available on USAID websites, which anyone could access. Soon our photos, names and addresses were more public to Iraqis than the US effort to reconstruct Iraq.