An interesting piece over at the Huffington post by journalist Karin Zeitvogel dealing with another organization who seeks to bring solace to iraqi refugees, the IVRAA . Now, as I type, Luis Montalvan and Tyler Boudreau , former Captains in the United States Army and the United States Marine corps respectively, creators of the recently formed Iraqi Veteran’s Refugee Aid Association, have undertaken a trip to Jordan in order to determine the scope of these refugees and their plight, and to seek to lend a helping hand.
As relayed by Zeitvogel, the press officer on this undertaking, in their first day of meetings, they have already encountered Iraqis who continue to be burdened by the bureaucratic system that they entered into when they volunteered to help in the United States:
“The day started with a meeting with two brothers, Hamza and Ali, who left Iraq just over two years ago with nothing more than their savings and the irreplaceable treasure of their family: their father, sister and her two sons, Ali’s wife, and themselves.
Both brothers have been kicking their heels in Amman ever since, awaiting word about whether or not they will be given leave to emigrate to the United States. Ali should have been fast-tracked and given priority under the US policy of direct access, which eases the application process for those who worked for the Americans during the war. But he hasn’t been, partly because he stepped up to the plate before there were official badges and IDs that identified someone as having worked with the Americans. Those badges are like gold dust these days, giving the bearer the right to a new life, far away from the country they loved and still love, Iraq, but to which they cannot return since they have been branded enemy collaborators by some of their compatriots.
So Ali simply whiles away the days, staying at home so he isn’t picked up by the Jordanian police, watching what’s left of his life slink away but never really giving up on the idea that he will, one day, make it to the US.
Hamza, on the other hand, learned recently that his application to emigrate to the United States has been accepted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and he is simply waiting for the date when he can fly out to start his new life in America.”
It is so sad to see these continual nightmares where people are struggling to get by, and most certainly should be granted access to the safety of the United States, and are not. Yet it it also great to see the compassion of soldiers and statesmen, and even ordinary citizens who continue to push with all their might to make this story a headline, until these refugees are given the rights they are entitled to, and until the federal government repays them for their brave actions in helping the United States.
check out the entire post, and contribute to the IVRAA