Trump's Immigration Ban To Affect Arizona Program Training Iraqis To Fight ISIS

January 30, 2017

President Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven countries led to confusion and criticism that the last-minute directive would hinder military efforts, particularly at a training program here in Arizona where Iraq learns how to fight ISIS.

For the past five years, Iraqi pilots have been training on the F-16 fighter jet here in Arizona with the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Fighter Wing. About 30 Iraqis have come through the program at the Tucson International Airport, ultimately training to fight against ISIS in Iraq. 

Sen. John McCain expressed concern Sunday that the president’s order would effect the fighter training program.

First Lt. Lacey Roberts says those pilots are here on visas.

"As of right now at this point, we’re just working closely with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to determine the practical impact the executive order is going to have on our international pilot training program with regards to Iraq," Roberts said.

Roberts would not say whether the training program has been halted as a result of the executive order.