Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program a bureaucratic failure
Posted by Christopher Coen on September 1, 2010
An Op-ed in the New York Times points out the complete bureaucratic failure of the Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program, the program designed to help endangered Iraqi allies bypass the slow refugee resettlement process and emigrate to the US. Of the 15,000 slots available since 2008, the US government has only granted 2,145 SIVs.
As the United States ends combat operations in Iraq today, it is leaving behind the thousands of Iraqis who worked on behalf of the American government — and who fear their lives and families are threatened by insurgents as a result.
In 2008 Congress significantly expanded a program that provided these Iraqis with visas to immigrate to the United States. But in the intervening years, the program has proven to be a bureaucratic failure. Unless we improve the resettlement process for our Iraqi allies, their lives will continue to be in danger long after the last American soldier has returned home.
…Given [the] obstacles, it’s no surprise that relatively few people have successfully used the program: an Aug. 12 letter to the administration by 22 members of Congress noted that only 2,145 visas have been issued, even though the program has 15,000 available slots. here
Even if a US Iraqi ally is lucky enough to make it through the SIV bureaucratic process, they must then possibly contend with one of our many negligent private refugee resettlement agencies, here.