Immigration inquisition

EVAN PRETZER | Evergreen columnist

Afghan contractors who worked for the United States and other members of NATO during the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan are falling victim to the worst examples of red tape and bureaucracy.

Instead of doing the decent thing and helping these people immigrate to America or Canada, the coalition has been leaving them for the Taliban.

In 2009, the Canadian government announced that Afghani collaborators who wished to move to Canada would be given special consideration when going through the nation’s immigration system, according to a VICE article.

Things have not worked out so far.

Insanely, the Canadian government insists that any applicants who worked with Canadian forces in Afghanistan specifically document why they are in danger. After that, a special committee then evaluates whether those risks are legitimate.

Clearly, the people deciding the fates of these Afghans have never been to that nation at all. In some parts of Afghanistan, just being seen in western styles of clothing can put you in danger.

If people can be killed or attacked for something that trivial, then working for NATO is equivalent to walking along a road in the Dark Ages while nude and carrying a bag of gold. Basically, it’s risky.

In the United States, things are not much better. This country has long had a broken and outdated immigration system, but it is even worse for those interpreters, cooks and radio operators who were trying to get by during America’s poorly managed and fought misadventure in the graveyard of empires.

According to The Washington Post, several Afghans who have applied for visas to come to America are being denied by the State Department because no “serious threat” is present.

It seems as though those who work in immigration departments in North America are out of touch with current events. Contractors have been kidnaped and killed and then had photos of their corpses posted online. Those left in Afghanistan are all in hugely immediate danger.

The bottom line is this: the United States and Canada need to let the people in Afghanistan who worked for the U.S. and Canadian militaries during the war come over with all of their family members.

These people risked their lives to help us. We should not abandon them. I am writing about human beings, not tanks or fighter jets.

The Washington Post reports the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. If we can spend that much to fight an unwinnable war, we can surely spend a few million more to move these people over to America.

We refused to take in Jews during the early years of Nazi Germany and lived to regret it. If we leave these people to be victimized by the Taliban we are repeating history. The slogan “Never again” never seemed so empty and hollow.

– Evan Pretzer is a junior communication major from from Weyburn, Saskatchewan. He can be contacted at 335-2290 or by The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.