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Iraqi Refugees Trickle into the US

The blog at Refugees International has some data on the resettlement of Iraqi refugees in the US:

America's allies in Iraq must think that the U.S. is inefficient, ungrateful or both. According to the State Department's latest figures, in August, the U.S. admitted 529 Iraqis for resettlement. That was a sharp increase from the 57 we admitted for resettlement in July, but still way off the resettlement pace the U.S. would have to achieve to meet its own goals.

In February, the State Department announced that it was prepared to process 7,000 Iraqi refugees for resettlement in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. That would have required a resettlement pace of 875 Iraqis a month on average from February to the end of September. Instead, we have resettled only 719 Iraqis so far this year.

While the administration has been tireless in promoting America's continuing involvement in Iraq's civil war we've heard precious little from them about the refugee crisis that has resulted from our invasion and its impact on neighboring countries. As Americans, we should all be deeply ashamed that our government has managed to resettle only 719 Iraqis this year. Surely a country as rich and powerful as ours can do better than that when there are millions of distressed refugees who need our assistance.

Refugees International has been doing their level best to raise awareness about the new Iraqi Diaspora that has resulted in the displacement of an estimated 4.7 million people. 2.5 million have fled to the surrounding countries with most of them heading to Syria and Jordan. Another 2.2 million have been displaced internally in Iraq. Many of these live in refugee camps or temporary housing.

The Bush administration's vaunted "surge" strategy hasn't done much to help. An estimated 100,000 Iraqis are now fleeing their homes now every month as sectarian cleansing continues unabated. There has been a massive outflow from the capital city of Baghdad which has gone from a 65% Sunni majority to a 75% Shiite majority. The large majority of Iraq's once substantial Christian population has long since fled the country.

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You can help to put some pressure on our government to assist Iraq's growing refugee population by writing to the editor of your local newspaper. Refugees International has a tool to help you write that letter and get it to your local newspaper.


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Comments (1)

Herman:

Fine post, Larkin.

It goes without saying that, lacking foresight, the Republicans did not foresee any refugee problem arising when they invaded Iraq, and are too hateful, xenophobic, and paranoid to welcome any significant amount of the refugees they created.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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