Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq.
Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected. The reason given in the denial letter, a copy of which I have obtained, is:
You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.
She told me in a phone conversation that, to her face, consular officer Christopher Patch told her she was denied because she is an “IDP” or Internally Displaced Person. “That really hurt,” she said. Essentially, the State Department was calling her a deceiver.
The State Department officials made the determination that the Catholic nun could be falsely asserting that she intends to visit Washington when secretly she could be intending to stay. That would constitute illegal immigration, and that, of course, is strictly forbidden. Once here, she could also be at risk for claiming political asylum, and the U.S. seems determined to deny ISIS’s Christian victims that status.
Read the whole thing.
It is wholly unlikely that Sister Diana wants to come to America for sanctuary. Her community, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena have had a presence in Iraq since the 14th Century. They have been on the frontlines amid the horror of ISIS’ advances and they have sent out communiques to let the world know what is happening. I doubt very much that this nun, who is dedicated to her mission, is seeking to escape.
Because I am sick I am having trouble being diplomatic; this refusal to permit entry to Sister Diana, and the excuse given sound like pure-d bullcrap to me.
Why does this administration go out of its way to avoid noticing or mentioning what is happening to Christians in Iraq and Libya and elsewhere? Why are Catholic nuns too suspect to be allowed into the country? What is the problem, exactly?
Yes, we certainly ought not let people like these into the United States!
NOTE: I’m still on the mend from a severe illness, and not ready to sit up at my desk all day, comments will remain unmoderated but, as earlier, if they become obnoxious I will close them.