Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Refugees from Iraq who worked with America struggle to make new lives in the U.S.

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"Exactly 10 years ago, he was a draftee in Saddam Hussein’s army stationed in Basra when he heard a radio broadcast announcing the U.S. invasion.  He left his uniform and weapon behind and walked all the way home to Baghdad, where he later became a translator for the U.S. Army.  Today the Iraqi refugee, who goes by the name Vincent, is working in an assembly line at a Flushing, Queens, factory and saving to study engineering.  He felt he had to leave his homeland.  “We are considered spies or agents working for the Americans,” said Vincent on Wednesday, as the world marked the 10-year anniversary of the Iraq war.  “There are people actually who are willing to kill me just for that reason.”  But many like Vincent haven’t yet been able to escape their risky situation.  Fewer than 6,000 of the more than 25,000 allotted primary Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis who worked for the U.S. military, government or