As an U.S. Army Captain serving in Afghanistan, I was almost killed by Taliban fighters. My Afghan translator, Janis, saved my life. We made a promise to translators like Janis, who served alongside our troops, to help them immigrate to the United States.
President Trump’s ban on all immigration of refugees breaks that promise to the thousands of Afghan and Iraqi wartime allies.
The president's Executive Order shuts the door on thousands of foreign interpreters, our wartime allies, who served alongside our military since 2001. Enacting a four-month ban on ALL immigration of refugees and an outright ban on the immigration of Iraqis condemns thousands of our Iraqi wartime allies to languish and fend for themselves against the very enemies we asked them to help us fight.
The blanket ban on immigration from Iraq and the four month moratorium on immigration from Afghanistan prevents our allies from reaching safety here in America and leaves countless thousands to be hunted for their service to the United States. If we commit to this, we will permanently harm our national security. Our credibility will be forever neutered if not eroded. Why would any potential ally ever trust America to keep its word again? It pains me to think how many US soldiers will now die in future wars because we couldn't recruit the local support that is often the difference between life and death.
Moreover, this ban imposes a lifetime moral injury on our Iraq war veterans. Vietnam Veterans speak often of their half-century injury at having abandoned so many of our Vietnamese allies.
Please ask President Trump to keep our promise to America’s veterans and allow for the Special Immigration Visa program to continue uninterrupted.
Matt Zeller, Co-Founder
No One Left Behind
Exempt Wartime Interpreters from President Trump's Executive Order Banning Immigration
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