19 January 2012

Iraqis that helped troops plea for a US visa

As part of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US military recruited a number of Iraqis to assist as interpreters. Now that foreign troops have withdrawn from the region however, several interpreters left in Iraq have pleaded with the US to grant them an American visa for fear of a backlash.

Newzad Brifki, executive director of Kurdish Youth of America based in Minnesota, recruited his brother-in-law Mohammed Salih to work as a security guard for a small civil affairs team in Iraq while he himself was working as an interpreter.

Now the American troops have left the country, Mr Brifki has raised his concerns after his brother received death threats for his co-operation with America.

"They'll throw images of dead people in your yard or find out your phone number and send you a threatening text message" said Mr Salih. "Or somebody will call you out of nowhere saying 'we will kill you'."

Many other Iraqis in similar situations have attempted to leave for America but Mr Salih has so far been unable to secure an American visa, despite spending thousands of dollars and travelling to Turkey. For the full story, visit the Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) website.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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