One of the most under-reported stories of 2017 - to our great collective shame - was the almost complete destruction of the Islamic State's caliphate
Do you judge a nation by how it treats its friends?
In light of how easily we are throwing around de-facto amnesty to law breakers and known criminals, I would like for you to ponder this;
For more than five years, Iraqi Judge Hussen Al-Anbaki worked alongside U.S. troops battling to bring terrorists to justice. But now he's engaged in an even bigger fight -- trying to get himself and his family to the U.S.
A local state prosecutor and a New Haven immigration lawyer are spearheading an effort to convince the U.S. government to issue Al-Anbaki and his family special visas. They say with U.S. troops gone from Iraq terrorist groups have become emboldened and are assassinating judges, and they are worried Al-Anbaki is next on their list.
"This is not just about wanting a better life for himself and his family, this is about wanting a life. Their lives are now in peril because he helped us," said Deputy Assistant State's Attorney Emily Dewey Trudeau.Yes, that is our Emily - still focused on mission and taking care of those who took care of her and her Shipmates;
Trudeau was a lieutenant in the Navy's Judge Advocate General's office when in 2007 she was assigned to the Law and Order Task Force in Iraq. It was there she began working with Judge Al-Anbaki and became friends with him and his family, his wife and three children. As an investigative judge, Al-Anbaki worked within the Iraqi judicial system gathering evidence on terrorism against both American soldiers and Iraqi citizens that he would then present before an Iraqi trial panel.
"He was doing it because he believed it was the right thing to do because these were people not only dangerous to the Americans in Iraq, but to the Iraqi people as well," Trudeau said.That should frame the situation for you.
Now, your nation at work;
In 2008, the U.S. Congress authorized a Special Immigrant Visa program to allow Iraqis, Kurds and Afghans who had worked for the U.S. government and were now in danger for doing so to immigrate to the U.S. A number of Kurds were relocated to the Bridgeport's West Side through the program. However, Judge Al-Anbaki was rejected.
In a letter to Al-Anbaki dated March 27, Gillian Apfel, refugee coordinator for the U.S. Chief of Mission, stated: "You were not actually employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government. Your work with the Law and Order Task Force was the result of a cooperation agreement between Multi-National Force Iraq and the government of Iraq."
But Trudeau said it had been the judge's decision not to be on the U.S. government's payroll. He believed he could do a better job if he was considered neutral.
"He purposely remained neutral as a member of the Iraqi judiciary, but he did receive other compensation from the U.S. We supplied him with a secure housing facility so he could carry out his work without getting killed," Trudeau said. "If I had hired someone in Iraq to keep up my WiFi, giving them a paycheck, that person would be eligible to come to the U.S., but not the judge. He tries to come here and gets the door slammed in his face."You need to read it all - and there is still time for you do help.
Help spread the word.
Sometime I am at loss at the decisions my nation makes. There are Americans walking the streets right now who are only here because of the work Judge Al-Anbaki did - and yet, we slam the door in his face and that of his family.
In addition to Senator Blumenthal (D-CT), others involved who need to hear from you are about SIV Visa legislation are Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Sen John McCain (R-AZ), Andre Carson (D-IN), Jon Conyers (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Ted Poe (R-TX), Dave Reichert (R-WA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Frank Wolf (R-VA).