Immigration loophole prevents Orange County photojournalist's fiancé from coming to US

It's an immigration loophole following former President Donald Trump’s travel ban and COVID restrictions that’s impacting people in Iraq.

News 12 Staff

Nov 9, 2021, 11:15 PM

Updated 932 days ago

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An Orange County photojournalist home from the Middle East is unable to get his fiancé to the Hudson Valley for their wedding because of an immigration loophole that affects people who seek visas in Iraq.
Even though he’s home, the feelings of danger remain for the Orange County man, which is why he asked News 12 to keep his identity private while he shared his personal story.
“If they found out we were engaged, she would be killed or she would disappear,” he said.
The 33-year-old returned home in 2019 after he was injured in a car bombing. Since then, he’s been trying to get his fiancé to the Hudson Valley from Iraq.
It's an immigration loophole following former President Donald Trump’s travel ban and COVID restrictions that’s impacting people in Iraq. A neighboring embassy in the Middle East is handling the Iraqi visa requests. In this man’s case, his fiancé was referred to the Turkish embassy, but he says they will not handle her claim since she is a Syrian national.
“It’s not just me who is stuck. Everyone living in Iraq right now, they are getting sent to the wrong embassy,” the photojournalist explained.
And while he continues his desperate efforts to be safely reunited with the woman he loves, their overseas relationship continues in secret through encrypted phones until the day they can live together and no longer in fear.
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney is helping the man with this case.
A representative for Maloney's office said they're working extensively to support families throughout the Hudson Valley with loved ones in Iraq and will continue to do so until the immigration situation is resolved.


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