Iraqi Translator Who Helped Illinois Soldiers Settle into a New Home in the US – NBC Chicago

A translator who risked his life to help the Illinois National Guardsmen during the Iraq War has moved to the American Southwest, after years of waiting during the special immigrant visa approval process.

Jaguar, as he is known to US troops, has been featured in several NBC 5 reports since 2016 and said his association with the US military put his life at risk in Iraq.

But the former performer said he and his family were determined to make it to the United States, and now they are settling into their new life in Arizona.

“I know a little English, but my family doesn’t, but they do very well with this community,” Jaguar said. “They are very peaceful and kind people and we are very excited and very happy to start a new life here.”

Illinois National Guard veteran John Taylor served in Iraq during the early years of the war and kept in touch with Jaguar and offered advice.

“I believe we should support our allies in times of war. I think it’s our obligation,” Taylor said.

According to government records, 3,954 Iraqi and Afghan translators and their dependents have received special immigrant visas since 2007, although the data is preliminary and subject to change. Data after June 30, 2021 has not yet been made public.

Majid Jabber also served as a translator for American soldiers during the Iraq War. Jabber has since moved to Illinois and has become a business owner.

Jabber said his advice for Jaguar is to embrace everything he sees in the United States.

“This country is rich in tradition and history and make it yours and be proud to be an American like me,” Jabber said.

As for the near future, Jaguar said he would send his children to school and start looking for a job.

“I have everything and we will try to continue living here and maybe start our own business. Let’s see,” Jaguar said.

He also said that once settled, he would like to help other people in Iraq who are still waiting for their chance to settle in America.