Iraqi And Afghan Interpreters Become Refugees After Serving The US Military

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Photo: The Interpreters Documentary
Khalid, a refugee from Iraq, and Paul, the soldier who helped bring him to the states, together in Minnesota.

Thousands of Iraqis and Afghans found work as interpreters for the U.S. military during the wars in their countries. But those jobs put targets on the interpreters' backs. They were seen as colluding with the enemy by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Some Iraqis got out through a special visa program, which ended in 2014. It's estimated 10,000 Afghan interpreters are still waiting.

Their story is at the center of a new documentary, "The Interpreters," which just debuted at the Mountainfilm Festival. One of the filmmakers Andres Caballero told Colorado Matters about the movie's two subjects, Mujtaba from Afghanistan and Khalid from Iraq. They followed very different paths out of their countries.