April 28, 2007
Maybe All is Not Lost in Translation
Apparently the U.S. Congress has taken notice that a grand total of fifty green cards per fiscal year was not going to meet the demand created by Iraqi and Afghan translators who have placed their lives in danger by serving as translators and interpreters for U.S. forces.
The companion bills currently in committee (S.1104 and H.R.1790) would increase the annual immigration quota for Iraqi and Afghan translators and interpreters to 500 per year for a three-year period. (I like the House version better - it allows the annual quota to increase to 500, or "such greater number as the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is warranted by the circumstances." Not that I have full confidence that DHS will determine an appropriate number, but still, it's a start.)
Now let's see if Congress will do anything about the general refugee visa quota for Iraqis. Given that the current U.S. refugee visa quota for the entire world is 70,000 annually, even the recent increase in the refugee quota for all Iraqis (to 7,000) is unlikely to increase to a level remotely approaching demand.
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Responsibility and Congress are like oil and vinegar. I noted that in the entire lineup of Dem candidates in the first debate, the only one who had to vote on the Iraq war and did actually exercise that vote against the start of this war was Dennis Kucinich. Obama wasn't in Congress, neither were Richardson or Gravel.
Just like the Gulf of Tonkin the last time we went through this kind of abuse of Presidential power. As for refugees, they've always been toxic. Even in the face of the Holocaust, Jews were being turned away from entering the US.
Victims smell bad. What more do you need to know?
Posted by: pantom at April 28, 2007 07:00 PM
What more do you need to know?
Personally, I have this (perhaps pointsless but nonetheless burning) need to know when the U.S. will start to learn from its past mistakes.
Posted by: Eva Luna at April 30, 2007 10:53 AM
We owe the people who stepped forward to help us. We should not leave these Iraqis in the same manner we abandoned the Hmong and Montagnards.
With the sea - no, make that an Ocean - of illegal immigration we tacitly permit from Mexico annually, we can accomodate every translator who wants shelter.
Posted by: zenpundit at May 1, 2007 12:24 AM
Eva Luna, the quote from George Orwell, from 'In front of your nose,' may be instructive:
There is no use in multiplying examples. The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield.
Posted by: dawud at May 1, 2007 04:43 AM