Published On: Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014

Iraqi Translator Suing US for Denial of Visa


“Ali” is one of many thousands who helped the United States.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project is hailing a lawsuit filed by an Iraqi who served as a translator for the US military in Iraq, but has been waiting more than two years on his visa.

The Project praised “the first-ever suit to hold the US Government accountable for a backlog of applications from Iraqis seeking” SIVs.

The Iraqi at the center of the lawsuit is using the pseudonym “Ali” for security reasons. The New Yorker told his story in a piece titled “Trapped in Iraq, ” which went online Monday.

Ali is one of many thousands the Project estimates helped the United States.

In light of the military success of the jihadist group the Islamic State, which is murdering civilians across Iraq, Ali is one of many Iraqis who helped the US over the past 12 years and who are feeling extremely unsafe.

The lawsuit alleges that the Departments of State and Homeland Security are out of compliance with congressional mandates on the speed with which SIVs must be processed.

“For Ali and others like him, this is a life or death situation where every minute counts, ” said Becca Heller, director of the Project, in a press release. “Congress recognized this when they passed a law requiring these visas to be processed within nine months. But Ali has been waiting over two years, and it’s time to bring in a judge and end this nightmare.”

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