"Actually, I did my first interview in the embassy, it was 2014, and when I went in, my doc wasn't finished, so they gave me another date for new interview ..." But before that date came, "ISIS came in and took over most of Iraq, they came close to my town, but they didn't get my town. We defend the town, actually. So six months I cannot get out of town, because if I leave my town, I [will] be killed."
But Haider still got his visa. Even without the whole "under siege by ISIS" thing, he had a lot of hoops to jump, including a "background check and a couple recommendations from officers, the ones I was working with through the U.S. army." It was not a speedy process. "I did my interview on November 2015, so they tell me you're good, your paper is now in administrative processing ... it took over one year and one month to finish that process."
He bought a plane ticket as soon as he got his visa, and he was busy getting ready for his flight on February 9th, when this hit:
Iraq is one of those "Countries of Particular Concern." Haider isn't sure if he'll be sent back to Iraq as soon as he lands, because the wording of the EO is pretty broad and trying to find authoritative information on the internet today is like searching for an unopened condom in a landfill. "I went on Facebook and the media ... everyone say something, and you don't know what is the truth here."
And if Haider is stuck in Iraq, it'll be for another (minimum) 60 days. That's an eternity in "heavily armed militias want to kill you" time. He and Chase's anonymous friend and thousands of other interpreters who fought and risked their lives on this country's behalf just got a big orange middle finger from our 45th president. I guess we shouldn't be surprised that this guy ...
... is reneging on another debt.
If you want to help Haider, Chase's friend, and thousands of others like them, you can donate to No One Left Behind.
Robert Evans is a Cracked editor, who listens to your stories and also has a silly book about drugs.
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