February 28, 2017

Duckworth to Host Iraqi-American Former U.S Military Translator for President Trump’s Address to Congress


WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) will host Abdulla Sindi as her guest at President Donald Trump's address to a Joint Session of Congress tonight. Sindi was forced to flee for his life from the Kurdistan region of Iraq where he was born after he worked with U.S. forces to enforce the no-fly zone following Operation Desert Storm. Though he would not have been able to enter the United States of America had a travel ban similar to President Trump's been in place at the time, Sindi has contributed greatly to this country since becoming a citizen in 2006. He worked at several military bases training National Guardsmen before they deployed to Iraq and served in Iraq as an interpreter for our armed forces as well as in security details for former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

"Abdulla's presence at tonight's address sends a powerful message to President Trump: hardworking immigrants and refugees make our country a better place," said Senator Duckworth. "Abdulla served our country when we went to war and helped keep American Troops safe. He is the embodiment of American values but President Trump's discriminatory travel ban would have prevented refugees like him from coming to America, much less contributing to our communities and our national security. That's not the America I bled to defend."

A father of five, Sindi and his wife reside in Northern Virginia. His wife's parents still live in Iraq and, under President Trump's Muslim travel ban, would not be allowed to visit their grandchildren in America. He was profiled by The Guardian in 2015 and was recently hired by Senator Duckworth to work in her D.C. office.

"Growing up in a small village, I never dreamed that I would come to the United States or step foot in the U.S. Capitol," said Abdulla Sindi. "America saved my life and I respect and love this country as if I was born here. I felt a duty to serve in Iraq after America went to war and I am honored to attend tonight's speech."