Wednesday, April 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A debt of honor to translators

By
From page A6 | June 20, 2013 | Leave Comment

The issue: We owe it to Iraqis and now Afghanis to stand by our word

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have promised to kill Afghanis who worked for the Americans and their families. In Iraq, similar threats were made by radical Islamic insurgents. They were not idle threats. The terrorists proved quite diligent in carrying out those threats.

Thus, the U.S. forces made a bargain, both explicit and implicit: Work for us and we will see that you and your families get visas for safe haven in America.

IN NEITHER COUNTRY have we come even close to holding up our end of the bargain, thanks to red tape and a U.S. bureaucracy that works only fitfully. Visas in Iraq were handed out only grudgingly and sparingly.

Now the same thing is happening in Afghanistan. Apparently, we learned nothing in Iraq.

In 2009, Congress passed a law to reward Afghanis who worked for U.S. forces. According to The Washington Post, “As of last fall, though, only 32 of more than 5,700 Afghan applicants had received visas through the special program.” That’s a pathetic performance.

In a fine display of hair-splitting, the State Department ruled that U.S. military interpreters were ineligible for visas because they had been hired by the NATO-led — meaning U.S.-led — International Security Assistance Force instead of directly by the U.S. government. To Taliban hit squads, this is a distinction without a difference.

The State Department probably thinks its paperwork is simple and straightforward, but to see what a desperate Iraqi interpreter, whose U.S. unit is packing to go back to the States, has to go through, try looking at http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3738.html. Imagine doing this while the irregular electricity flickers and the Taliban are said to be nosing around your neighborhood.

CONGRESS IS contemplating legislation that presumably would make it easier for the interpreters and their families to get visas. The best proposal is by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that would extend the program to 2015 and expand the number of visas granted annually to 5,000. Additionally, it would include interpreters hired by the ISAF, news organizations and nongovernmental aid organizations.

There’s also a strong element of self-interest here. We’re going to be in the Mideast and North Africa for a long time, perhaps in combat situations, and we are going to need people like these.

It would help a lot in recruiting if we could prove that we are people of our word.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

New mosaic mural reflects Peña family history

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
UC Davis biodigester hungers for food scraps, belches out electricity

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Fire damages Woodland home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Davis Arts Center: See ceramics, join the Big Day of Giving

By Erie Vitiello | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Register to vote by May 19

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Birch Lane sells garden plants, veggies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Team Blend hosts fundraiser for Nicaragua project

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

 
Sign up for enviro organizations during Earth Week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis businesswoman presides over conference

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Bible fun featured at Parents’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

UCD to host premiere of autism documentary

By Cory Golden | From Page: A4

 
400 bikes go up for bids at UCD auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Fire crews gather for joint training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UFC hears from two local historians

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Church hosts discussion of mental health needs, services

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sunder hosts campaign event for kids

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Fundraiser benefits Oakley campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Odd Fellows host culinary benefit for nonprofit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC Davis conference showcases undergraduate research

By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Train to become a weather spotter

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Fly Fishers talk to focus on healthy streams, rivers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Learn survival skills at Cache Creek Preserve

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Veterans, internees may receive overdue diplomas

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

UCD professor to talk about new book

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Slow Food tour showcases area’s young farmers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Will anyone notice?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
My votes reflect city values

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

I support Sunder for board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A plea on the Bard’s birthday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Sharing fire services has been a success

By Our View | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Seniors send Blue Devil girls past Broncos in a lacrosse rout

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Davis gets to Grant ace and rolls in DVC crucial

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Walchli is under par in another Devil victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DHS/Franklin I goes to the Blue Devil softballers

By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS thunders back to win an epic DVC volleyball match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
 
Sharks go up 3-0 with OT win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Rangers rally to beat A’s in the ninth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

Field to fork: El Macero’s chef offers spring tastes

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

Biscuits ‘n Honey will play at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
 
Five Three Oh! featured at April Performers’ Circle

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Celebrate spring at I-House on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Music, wine flow at Fourth Friday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Catharine ‘Kay’ Lathrop

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6