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Obstacles Keep Iraqi Refugees From U.S.
NYTimes ^ | August 29, 2007 | SABRINA TAVERNISE and DAVID ROHDE

Posted on 08/29/2007 6:19:30 AM PDT by RDTF

BAGHDAD, Aug. 28 — Despite a stepped-up commitment from the United States to take in Iraqis who are in danger because they worked for the American government and military, very few are signing up to go, resettlement officials say.

The reason, Iraqis say, is that they are not allowed to apply in Iraq, requiring them to make a costly and uncertain journey to countries like Syria or Jordan, where they may be turned away by border officials already overwhelmed by fleeing Iraqis.

The United Nations, which defines a refugee as someone who has fled his or her home country, has submitted more than 9,000 Iraqis to the United States for consideration since the State Department announced a new resettlement program in February.

But only about 5 percent of the applicants are former employees of the American war effort, according to figures provided by the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration, the agencies processing the cases.

This year, for the first time, administration officials began publicly discussing the special dangers faced by Iraqis working with Americans here and acknowledging the need to grant them safety in the United States.

To that end, the administration has set up a special program for a small number of Iraqis, which gives preferential treatment to full-time employees of the American Embassy, about 125 in Baghdad, and to 500 interpreters by allowing them to skip the lengthy United Nations refugee process once they leave Iraq.

But thousands more Iraqis work for the United States through contractors like Titan, a subsidiary of L-3 Communications; DynCorp International; Parsons Corporation; and Triple Canopy, and their subcontractors.

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: immigration; iraqis; refugees; wot

1 posted on 08/29/2007 6:19:31 AM PDT by RDTF
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To: RDTF
Obstacles Keep Iraqi Refugees From U.S.

GOOD. WAAAAAY too many moose limbs here now!

2 posted on 08/29/2007 6:37:49 AM PDT by Hazcat (We won an immigration BATTLE, the WAR is not over. Be ever vigilant.)
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To: RDTF

Good.


3 posted on 08/29/2007 6:38:33 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: RDTF

Good. If they work for the US, then they should stay in their stupid country and help FIX it. Seems like they are content to let OUR military fix things and they can come here. No thanks.

I can barely be civil to muslims these days.


4 posted on 08/29/2007 6:40:22 AM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: RDTF

NO! To any more Muslim immigrants.


5 posted on 08/29/2007 6:43:59 AM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: RDTF
"The reason, Iraqis say, is that they are not allowed to apply in Iraq, requiring them to make a costly and uncertain journey to countries like Syria or Jordan, where they may be turned away by border officials already overwhelmed by fleeing Iraqis."

If true, this policy is completely asinine, and should be changed.

6 posted on 08/29/2007 7:12:38 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: bboop
Sounds like a formula for ensuring nobody in Iraq would ever work for the US. I suppose it doesn't really matter because we lost the war before it began and, with no translators or host nation support of any sort, even more of the troops returning from Iraq would see the futility of continuing on the current course.

I'm in favor of an immigration time out but I'd make an exception for Iraqis who risk their lives helping our forces.

7 posted on 08/29/2007 7:13:05 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: Hazcat; bboop
"GOOD. WAAAAAY too many moose limbs here now!"

"Good. If they work for the US, then they should stay in their stupid country and help FIX it. Seems like they are content to let OUR military fix things and they can come here. No thanks."

You guys are missing the point. These are Iraqis who HAVE put their asses on the line to help us fix their country. If the Democrats force us to "cut and run", then we SHOULD help them emigrate.

8 posted on 08/29/2007 7:15:21 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog
The Florida National Guard made up part of the force that initially invaded Iraq. When they returned to Florida two GIs brought home Iraqi war brides. The idea that GIs would come home with Arab war brides didn't go over well here on FR and the reaction was a toned down version of something along the lines of the comments that I imagine would have been expressed had a Nazi brought home a Jewish war bride to Germany in 1942.

I think we're dealing with an attitude that accepts the concept of "untermensch" when applied to Muslims. As an American, I'd prefer that sort of thinking remain offshore.

9 posted on 08/29/2007 7:55:06 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: Wonder Warthog; caltrop

Something I wrote about this recently:

Put the Iraqi’s on the Southern Border!

TheTownCrier

A subject has been popping up with more frequency lately. CBS 60 minutes just repeated a segment and it’s sure to become a political sore spot. There’s something here for everyone from immigration activists to anti-war warriors.

Millions of USA friendly Iraqis are refugees and long and wide lines are waiting at the Syrian border to get in.

It seems the US Government hired up to 100,000 translators and such who volunteered from the local populations of Iraq. Some were injured and left. Some threatened by insurgents. Some killed by insurgents. Most are in refugee camps in Syria. Some to Jordan. They will die if they stay in Iraq. Their families are targets.

I suppose we pay the Syrian government to tolerate this, but the ‘aid’ isn’t getting to the vicim in any case.

The State Dept. told one man, too bad, so sad,’ you knew what you were getting into when you signed on with us.’ Only one hundred Iraqi refugees like this have been resettled in the states, while visas were given to thousands of Saudi students along with dozens of other asylum/visa programs. State says they’ll bring 2 to 3 thousand more this year. These things take time, you know. Vetting and all that.

Now curiously, these folks all speak ENGLISH and they’ve all been VETTED.
Obviously, this administration has no intention of getting around to trying to save them all.

One has to wonder why.

When Saigon fell, Pres. Ford ordered that the VietNamese who had served in such capacities be resettled in the states. 131,000 were successfully resettled within 6 (SIX ) months.

Nice message being sent to our allies around the world, don’t you think? This is the thanks you’ll get when you sign on with the USA. Perhaps our good Mexican neighbors would consider keeping the 5 to 10 thousand absconders who illegally cross our borders every day at home for a week so we can save the lives of people who have befriended us. Doubtful, you think?

But in an age where sovereignty, real fair trade, and language and borders and laws mean little, I suppose ‘friendship’ has lost it’s value as well.

Well, fine then, let’s make a deal.

Tell the Iraqi’s if they want to come stateside they’ll spend one year living in barracks on the Southern Border. Their families will be in some of the closed down military facilities for that year. If you all have been nice, at that time you will gain citizenship with other certain logical/lawful requirements met. You and your family have had a year to get used to us. Then you’re on your own.

Let ‘em know the more aliens they keep from crossing the border, the more Iraqi’s get to come. OTMS (Other than Mexican) from terrorist states count double. They’re bright people with linguistic skills, they’ll pick up enough Spanish in 3 weeks to do the job.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Background:
Iraqi Translators Feel Left Behind
http://cbs5.com/minutes/sixtyminutes_story_070234950.html

http://www.theirc.org/media/www/testimony-iraqi-refugees-ahusarska.html

http://towncriernews.blogspot.com/


10 posted on 08/29/2007 7:57:06 AM PDT by AuntB (" It takes more than walking across the border to be an American." Duncan Hunter)
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To: AuntB
"Let ‘em know the more aliens they keep from crossing the border, the more Iraqi’s get to come. OTMS (Other than Mexican) from terrorist states count double. They’re bright people with linguistic skills, they’ll pick up enough Spanish in 3 weeks to do the job."

Great idea, AuntB. And being Iraqis, the desert southwest would be "just like back home".

I hope Bush has the gonads to emulate President Ford if the Dems succeed in their "cut and run" so-called "strategy".

11 posted on 08/29/2007 8:05:02 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: RDTF
The United Nations, which defines a refugee as someone who has fled his or her home country, has submitted more than 9,000 Iraqis to the United States for consideration since the State Department announced a new resettlement program in February. But only about 5 percent of the applicants are former employees of the American war effort

The UN wants to send as many Iraqis as possible to live in the United States, regardless of whether they worked with U.S. troops.

To that end, the administration has set up a special program for a small number of Iraqis, which gives preferential treatment to full-time employees of the American Embassy, about 125 in Baghdad, and to 500 interpreters by allowing them to skip the lengthy United Nations refugee process once they leave Iraq.

But thousands more Iraqis work for the United States through contractors...and their subcontractors. In all, 69,000 Iraqis work on contracts....They are cleaners, construction workers, drivers and security guards, to name a few,

The NYT wants huge numbers of Iraqi nationals to come live in the United States, even if someone was just a construction worker who worked on a new school funded by US dollars.

Obvioulsy, for the NYT the motivation is propaganda -- they want to create a parallel to the Vietnamese refugee situation so that they can hang it around the neck of Bush and other Republicans as a symbol of the "Bush defeat" in Iraq. Social problems here in the U.S. caused by this huge influx of muslim arabs will be another boon for the NYT, as those can be blamed on the original cause, "Bush's defeat."

The United States has processed large numbers of refugees in countries they were trying to flee, namely Vietnam in the 1970s and the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, and it could also do it in Iraq, Mr. Tschannen said

In case anyone missed the propaganda point, the NYT makes it clear here.

More than 40,000 Iraqis have registered with the United Nations in Jordan and 90,000 more in Syria, out of an estimated 2 million who have fled Iraq, but not all qualify for refugee status.

I call b.s. on the 2 million number. Where are the refugee camps with 2 million people? If they existed, the MSM would be reporting daily from these camps with heartbreaking stories about how the Bush invasion has caused suffering, etc. Many of the "refugees" are Baathists who profited under Saddam and fled with their to escape de-Baathification.

according to a State Department official. But the pace is picking up. Ms. Sauerbrey said she expected 2,000 Iraqis to arrive by the end of September, and considerably more next year.

Coming to a neighborhood near you!

12 posted on 08/29/2007 8:07:56 AM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn
I call b.s. on the 2 million number. Where are the refugee camps with 2 million people? If they existed, the MSM would be reporting daily from these camps with heartbreaking stories about how the Bush invasion has caused suffering, etc.

Sunday night, 60 minutes showed a lot of this, and they place the number of refugees at 4 million. There are over 100,000 Iraqis who have worked for us. Get the UN out of this!

13 posted on 08/29/2007 8:19:12 AM PDT by AuntB (" It takes more than walking across the border to be an American." Duncan Hunter)
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To: caltrop
I think we're dealing with an attitude that accepts the concept of "untermensch" when applied to Muslims. As an American, I'd prefer that sort of thinking remain offshore.

As an American, I'd prefer that large numbers of muslims from terrorist-producing countries remain offshore.

Take in the Chaldean Christians, Coptic Christians, Iraqi Jews, etc. as part of the legal immigration from these countries, that's fine.

But in the case of TROPers from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc., our immigration bureaucracy is not up to the task of processing significant numbers of these people to identify and weed out fundamentalist sympathizers.

14 posted on 08/29/2007 8:21:52 AM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: AuntB
As I’ve made clear, I strongly favor letting them in. It seems the least we can do.
15 posted on 08/29/2007 8:31:27 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn
IMHO, the real Islamic threats to America aren't trying to get here through legal channels, they're coming across our southern border hidden in a sea of other illegals.

Muslims make up a huge portion of the world's population, only a tiny portion are a threat to the US.

I hadn't realized any of the Jews who were in Iraq under Saddam were still there. I'd have thought they'd already have emigrated to Israel. Aren't the Israelis accepting them?

16 posted on 08/29/2007 8:40:09 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: caltrop

As long as they’re checked out, I agree.


17 posted on 08/29/2007 8:45:06 AM PDT by Vanbasten
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To: AuntB
Here is from the 60 Minutes piece on their website about that segment:

How many Iraqis, like this translator, worked for America? No one is certain, but by our tally it’s at least 100,000. Add their families and you’re well over a half a million people at risk. How many of them have been allowed to immigrate to the United States? About 100.

So it appears 60 Minutes thinks well over 500,000 Iraqis should be allowed to resettle in the United States.

60 Minutes uses the heartbreaking, anecdotal case of an Iraqi translator who manned a guard post with American soldiers and then lumps that example in with all Iraqis who somehow "worked for the Americans" plus families to get to their 500,000 number.

The Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police have been targeted for slaughter like the translators, and have been slaughtered in large numbers (especially at recruiting stations) by the "insurgents" for supporting the "American occupation." Shouldn't they all get resident visas? And the tribes of al-Anbar are now "working with the Americans" - I suppose they should all be resettled in the United States, too?

Like the NYT, 60 Minutes makes unmistakably clear the propaganda purpose of their piece (Bush has lost the war in Iraq just like South Vietnam) by finding a retired General with the "right" quotes:

No one knows the work of the Iraqi allies better than retired Major General Paul Eaton... "Do you think it is politically impossible to open the doors to immigration to Iraqis because it's an admission that the war has not gone well?" Pelley asks. "The war is not going well. Everybody knows it. The president of the United States and our Congress need to admit that a population is at risk. At risk because they have thrown their lot in with us," Eaton says.

The link:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/03/09/60minutes/main2554125.shtml

I would allow a very small number of people in truly extraordinary circumstances to be resettled in the U.S. As to 500,000 Iraqis? NFW.

18 posted on 08/29/2007 8:58:32 AM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: caltrop
IMHO, the real Islamic threats to America aren't trying to get here through legal channels, they're coming across our southern border hidden in a sea of other illegals.

That's a false either-or proposition - muslim fundamentalist sympathizers can be a "real threat" BOTH by walking across the southern border or coming in legally on a student visa, a tourist visa, a resident visa or otherwise.

It is the radical fundamentalist muslim ideology which is the problem. As we've seen in Britain, even if the first generation muslim immigrants are solid citizens, the second-generation muslims can easily be caught up in fundamentalism, and we have Saudi Arabia pouring big money in the US and around the world to promote the teaching of a very fundamentalist interpretation of islam.

19 posted on 08/29/2007 9:07:11 AM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn
As we've also seen from Britain, they have a more serious problem than we do in large part because they haven't assimilated their Muslim population to the extent we have.

While I concede its possible, I suspect a Muslim terrorist wouldn't want to risk coming through normal channels that might result in his being picked up. My guess is he'd be better off crossing illegally where the odds are presumably very much with him.

I agree it's the fundamentalists who are the problem but I'm not prepared to agree they're any more than a tiny percentage of Muslims. Those, and I'm not suggesting you're one of them, who seek a US - Muslim War are serving AQ's purpose and not America's.

20 posted on 08/29/2007 9:19:47 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: caltrop

The 9/11 terrorists themselves came in through legal channels.


21 posted on 08/29/2007 9:25:29 AM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn
I would allow a very small number of people in truly extraordinary circumstances to be resettled in the U.S. As to 500,000 Iraqis? NFW.

I don't disagree with you. I would venture to say, from past history, it'll be more than that.

22 posted on 08/29/2007 9:35:17 AM PDT by AuntB (" It takes more than walking across the border to be an American." Duncan Hunter)
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To: SirJohnBarleycorn

They also managed to keep the passengers sitting in their seats while they flew into the WTC and Pentagon. Today taking over a plane would require getting past the passengers and, I hope, entering the country legally would require getting past a bunch of watch lists.


23 posted on 08/29/2007 9:35:44 AM PDT by caltrop
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To: caltrop
I hope, entering the country legally would require getting past a bunch of watch lists.

But why should anyone believe such "watch lists" include all people, or even most people, or even a significant minority of the people who are potential terrorists?

Do the Emirs of Waziristan send the US DHS a list every summer of all graduates (with their fingerprints) from radical madrassas in the past year?

Does the US government have identifying information on all people who are members of, or sympathize with, al-Qaeda in Iraq?

Does the CIA have secret listening devices in mosques around the world, used to identify the "radical" imams and their followers as opposed to the "moderate" imams and their followers?

Until the threat of Islamic terrorism is greatly reduced, the United States should, along with everything else it is doing in the War on Terror, restrict and greatly scrutinize the immigration of muslims from terrorist-producing countries (including Britain).

24 posted on 08/29/2007 9:51:15 AM PDT by SirJohnBarleycorn
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