An immigration policy worthy of support

My immigration policy is generally of the type: “sure, come on over” (though maybe not all at once).   But here is variant I would like to adopt immediately:

Any foreigner who works/has worked for the US military can automatically immigrate to the US whenever he/she wants to (well, as long as they are not terrorists or have in some other way committed crimes against the US or its citizens).

I got this idea from reading a description of the situation of Afghani citizens who have been interpreting for US troops, often risking their lives in the process.  They face probable torture or death if the Taliban gets hold of them.   Apparently, there have been 2,630 Afghanis working for the US who have applied for a visa, yet not a single one has been issued yet.  It should be easy–automatic, even–to get one of these visas.

Writing in “Political Diary” (, subscription only), Anne Jolis writes:

Other than safety from the Taliban, what exactly do the Afghans want with U.S. residency? Most say they would come right back to Afghanistan. “If the U.S. would want me in the Army, I’d do it, I’d join — I like helping the Americans,” says Zekrullah.

Walli nods in agreement. “I just want to start my life, work hard. The first thing I’d do would be to keep translating for the Americans, join the Army if that were possible.”

Even 40-year-old Mohammad of Helmand Province, who has been interpreting for Americans for three-and-a-half years, says he’d seek to continue his U.S. military service: “I’d come back to Afghanistan and keep doing this,” he says. “The difference is that I’d know I could then go to America and be safe.”

This touched me, not only as something we ought to be doing, but as a testament of the decency and hard work of our troops.  In making foreign policy, where discussions are often just about power and interests, we sometimes forget that there are good guys and bad guys and that it usually isn’t hard to tell the difference.

8 thoughts on “An immigration policy worthy of support

  1. I surely agree with your first sentiment on immigration. I don’t have much sympathy for opportunists who facilitate death and destruction, no matter whose side they are on.

      1. You could be correct about the Taliban. I am sure many of these translators work for the Taliban as well. Collaborators are are never to be trusted no matter which side they are on.

      1. You know it’s actually an honor to be on the receiving end of one. At least you know someone read your words.

      2. It’s the way that Radley’s commenors at refer to his more disheartening links. He is a former Reason writer and writes about criminal justice and government malfeasance, so this story is right on his beat.

        If you don’t know about Radley’s work, you should really check out his blog.

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