2008 sees increase in number of Iraqi refugees allowed into the United States September 27, 2008Posted by Aaron Walter in Uncategorized.
Tags: Iraq, Refugees
The below story highlights the efforts of many within our government and numerous groups outside of it to increase the number of Iraqis granted visas to enter the United States. While there is hope for the future Iraq, the war has obviously displaced or negatively affected thousands of Iraqis. During the 2007 fiscal year, only 1,600 Iraqis were allowed to enter the United States. However, the administration is on pace to allow 12,000 Iraqis into the US during the 2008 fiscal year and is looking towards allowing 17,000 to enter in 2009.
Additionally, The Department of Homeland Security has released a “fact sheet” concerning Iraqi Refugee Processing highlighting the process for ressetlement and the 12,118 Iraqis that have been admitted to the United States as refugees in 2008.
If you would like to learn more about the subject of Iraqi refugees, I invite you to visit The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies. The non-partisan organization is dedicated to assisting Iraqi refugees, especially those forced from their home country due to their affiliation with the United States (for example – Iraqi’s who assisted US troops as translators). The List Project reports that some Iraqi’s have been targeted by various terrorist organizations as US collaborators, placing their entire family’s lives in jeopardy. Their goal is to promote policies encouraging approval of US visas for worthy “refugees,” and provide localized assistance to resettled Iraqis.
U.S. reached goal for admissions
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2008
The Bush administration under intense pressure at home and around the world this year will meet its goal of allowing 12,000 Iraqi refugees into the United States. That is a considerable improvement over the 1,600 displaced Iraqis allowed into the country in the 2007 fiscal year.
Having met the objective this fiscal year, the administration is looking to raise the goal to 17,000 in the 2009 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The increase, though, falls well short of the 105,000 that some advocacy groups had been seeking.
The groups said in a statement that the U.S. response to the refugee crisis “is incommensurate with the scope of the need.”
The administration has been widely criticized for failing to do more for the nearly 2 million Iraqis who have fled their country to avoid the ethnic and sectarian violence and religious persecution. They also include several thousand Iraqis fearing retaliation for working for the U.S. government or contractors. Most of the refugees are in Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.
The figures do not include internally displaced Iraqis.
To achieve this year’s objective, the administration has streamlined the admissions process that was hampered by differences within the state and homeland security departments. The application process can now begin in Baghdad.
The administration has doubled to $318 million the assistance it provides to other countries hosting Iraqis in refugee camps until they can return to their own country or resettle in other nations. The Bush administration has made some progress in meeting America’s responsibilities, but more can be done.
Read the entire article in context at: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20080914/OPINION01/309149942/Iraqi+refugees