The Refugee Problem

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Refugee Problem

From the NY Times:
With thousands of Iraqis desperately fleeing this country every day, advocates for refugees, and even some American officials, say there is an urgent need to allow more Iraqi refugees into the United States.

... “We’re not even meeting our basic obligation to the Iraqis who’ve been imperiled because they worked for the U.S. government,” said Kirk W. Johnson, who worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Falluja in 2005. “We could not have functioned without their hard work, and it’s shameful that we’ve nothing to offer them in their bleakest hour.”

.... The pace of the exodus has quickened significantly in the past nine months.

Some critics say the Bush administration has been reluctant to create a significant refugee program because to do so would be tantamount to conceding failure in Iraq. They say a major change in policy could happen only as part of a broader White House shift on Iraq.

“I don’t know of anyone inside the administration who sees this as a priority area,” said Lavinia Limón, president of the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a nongovernmental refugee resettlement agency based in Washington. “If you think you’re winning, you think they’re going to go back soon.”

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