On May 10, IRAP brought together over 50 current and new supporters to learn about IRAP’s efforts to improve global refugee processing, and the importance of the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program for U.S.-affiliated Iraqi and Afghan wartime allies.
Special guest speakers former ISAF Commander General John R. Allen, a retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star General, and Greg Jaffe, a White House correspondent for The Washington Post, spoke candidly about the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Afghanistan. They discussed the increased violence and persecution that these military interpreters and their families continue to face as a result of ISIS and other extremist groups, and the tenor and quality of the political debates on the subject of refugees.
The audience also heard from IRAP Director, Becca Heller, IRAP Board Chair, Walt Cooper, and former IRAP client and interpreter for the U.S. Army in Iraq, Sham Hasan. Becca represented Sham throughout the SIV process while he was waiting in limbo for a decision to be made on his case. It was at this event that Becca and Sham met for the very first time.
IRAP Board Members Mike Breen, Walt Cooper, Zach Iscol, and Robert Raben hosted the event, which took place at The Raben Group’s offices in Washington, D.C.