There is an issue that some of us find painful, and infuriating. It lingers, it festers. I wrote about it in 2015, here: “A Question of Honor: As the wolves circle, Iraqis who helped us are pleading for visas.” I will not rehash the issue; those interested can read the piece.
Last Friday, a story appeared from NBC News. Here is how it begins:
The Trump administration has virtually closed the door on Iraqis who worked as interpreters for the American military, issuing only two U.S. visas to former interpreters last year, according to government statistics obtained by NBC News.
The interpreters have faced threats, abductions and attacks for their association with American forces, and hundreds have been killed by militants since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Former interpreter Shaker Jeffrey fled to Germany while awaiting admission to the United States, but he says that even there he has been targeted by the Islamic State group’s militants.
“I am a hunted man,” Jeffrey, who has been waiting for a visa for 10 years, said. “If I return to Iraq, I will be assassinated.”
Earlier this month, the New York Times published a profile of Stephen Miller, President Trump’s immigration adviser. Here is an excerpt: “A fervent critic of refugee programs, he has helped cut annual admissions by about three-quarters since the end of the Obama administration.”
People are very proud of this. Very. I know them, I hear from them. But I think that they, like death, should not be proud.