A government program envisaged that 200 Iraqis would be brought to Poland. These people helped the Polish army, mostly as translators, and for that reason they faced death in their homeland. 40% of these Iraqis were not verified positively by the Polish intelligence services and therefore were not permitted to stay in Poland. The head of the Ministry of National Defence (MON) Bogdan Klich promised these people a new life and a job. Despite such promises, after their arrival, the refugees were informed that flats will be provided for them in Dęblin but they will have to pay rent and earn a living. “It is plain to see how badly this operation was prepared. Bringing these people to Poland was not a problem, but what next?” comments a Polish officer who worked together with the Iraqi translators. The Iraqis are well-educated and most of them have degrees. They hoped for jobs in which their skills and knowledge of Arabic countries would be invaluable.
“An officer came and told us we should go to the employment agency to get a job, although he added that it would be best to search for ourselves as this agency will not find anything for us. What kind of job can we get in such a small town as Dęblin? What have we become? Refugees and spies of the Iraqi government and a burden to the Polish one,” complains Kadir who came to Poland with his wife and four children. Janusz Zemke of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) believes, “the people who have passed the verification should be hired by the army or intelligence service because it lacks specialists who have a good command of Polish. I do not understand the attitude of the Polish authorities and I will discuss the matter with the head of the MON and consult the Office for Foreigners. Gazeta Wyborcza sent an email about this issue to the Office for Foreigners and received the reply that the Office is currently in the process of granting refugee status to these Iraqis. It will not comment on the future of these Iraqis in Poland.
Many fear that Iraqi translators in USA will have the same problem, unless they are being embraced by the US Government!