In this photo from 2008, a U.S. Army soldier and an Iraqi interpreter talk to an Iraqi woman during a patrol in Amiriyah, Iraq. DoD photo by 1st Lt. Meg Harvey, U.S. Air Force. (Public Domain)
*UPDATE (February 2, 2017) In the face of widespread outcry against its executive order, the Trump Administration has introduced an amendment to its travel ban to once again allow Iraqis who served as interpreters for the US government and armed forces in Iraq and their family members to emmigrate ot the United States. You can read more about the decision in this article by the New York Times.
Since its creation in 2009, InterpetAmerica has worked to raise the profile of interpreting and to shine a light on the role of interpreters in a global society that communicates and conducts business in many languages. From the very beginning we knew our efforts, however modest, needed to include those interpreters called upon to facilitate communication in conflict zones, whether helping refugees, troops or civilians to communicate.
InterpretAmerica is not a political organization, but we do care passionately about our profession. The interpreters we support often find themselves in the crossfire of politics and international relations. Interpreters in conflict zones, particularly those that served NATO and US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, are once again caught in the turmoil of politics.