Trudy Rubin wrote an especially poignant and hard hitting column in Thursday's Inquirer, "Our continuing shame: Iraqi allies betrayed." Here is an excerpt:
Official figures show that 39,000 Iraqis (including family members) are in the pipeline in the Direct Access program for Iraqis who worked with us. Only 153 of these visas were issued in December. There are about 15,000 (not including family) in the pipeline for the Special Immigrant Visa program. Only 50 SIVs were issued last month.
The supposed reason for the freeze is new security regulations imposed after two Iraqi refugees in Kentucky were accused of having terrorist connections. But these bad apples never worked for Americans. Those who did went through numerous security checks before getting their jobs.
This is just so basic. We made promises to people in return for their help and now we are reneging. To their credit, two of the local politicos that I have followed, Bryan Lentz and Patrick Murphy, both Iraq War veterans, worked hard to ensure that Iraqi citizens who had helped them were able to come to the US.
It's not only the moral obligation to keep our agreement, it is the ability to ask others to help us in the future, in the next conflict.