Skip to comments.More Iraqi refugees resettled in U.S., but number is still small
Posted on 06/05/2008 2:00:13 PM PDT by NYer
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 1,000 refugees from Iraq arrived in the United States in May, the most in recent months, bringing the fiscal-year total to 4,742 so far, the State Department reported June 3.
But with just four months left in the fiscal year, the administration's objective of resettling 12,000 Iraqis in the U.S. by October is far from being reached, said Anastasia Brown, director of refugee programs for Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
She added that even that goal is an inadequate fraction of the estimated 4.9 million Iraqis who have been forced to leave their homes by the war.
At a press briefing June 3, Ambassador James Foley, senior coordinator for Iraqi refugees and former ambassador to Haiti, said systems are finally in place to process the applications of would-be refugees within Iraq. Processing systems in adjacent countries are working more smoothly than before, he said, though there are still problems, particularly in Syria, where as many as 1.4 million Iraqis have sought temporary protection.
In congressional testimony a month earlier, Brown cited estimates that 2.7 million Iraqis have been forced from their homes but remain in the country. Another 2.2 million people have managed to flee Iraq; most of them are living in unsettled situations in nearby countries.
Foley said 7,800 people have finished the preliminary stages of the resettlement process, more than enough to meet the goal of 12,000 by the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, but he added there are no guarantees of how many will be able to complete the process and reach the United States.
For instance, he said, the extreme violence in Lebanon in May prevented a "circuit riding" team from the State Department from going into that country to process refugee cases. And some countries have particularly cumbersome systems for issuing exit permits for refugees to leave.
The first two refugees who left directly from Iraq reached the United States in May, Foley said, and another 70 people in Iraq have been conditionally approved to leave. Brown said Iraqis leaving directly from their home country are mostly employees of the U.S. government and their families.
In her May testimony to two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees, Brown called the Iraqi refugee situation "a looming humanitarian crisis."
Foley said the majority of Iraqi refugees admitted to the United States have come from Jordan, a country with which the United States has warm diplomatic relations and where the processing systems work relatively smoothly. Far fewer have been admitted from Syria, despite the great number of refugees there, because of more tenuous diplomatic ties, he said.
Brown, who has supervised the U.S. church's role in resettling about 30 percent of the Iraqi refugees to date, told Catholic News Service June 4 that the report that 1,141 Iraqis reached the U.S. in May is "a great beginning, but is it enough?"
Most of the 4,742 Iraqi refugees admitted this year were processed by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees last year, Brown said, and tens of thousands more are waiting for the United States to finish its part of background checks and paperwork processing.
As of April, the UNHCR had submitted the paperwork for 24,185 Iraqi refugees to the United States since February 2007. In the 2006 fiscal year, the U.S. received 200 Iraqi refugees. The U.N. agency handles processing for refugees worldwide.
Brown said one of the recent complications of the Iraqi refugee situation is that some people, tired of waiting in difficult circumstances in countries including Syria, are moving to other countries, such as Malaysia.
She said 1,000 Iraqis who recently moved to Malaysia find it comparatively easy to get into the country because it does not require entry visas. That may make it possible for people to make a living without attracting attention from authorities.
However, she said, Malaysia doesn't recognize their refugee status, and actively detains anyone found to be living there without permission.
Although Foley suggested the security situation in Iraq may be settling down, based on an apparent decrease in the number of people leaving, Brown said this phenomenon could also be explained by the fact that Syria now requires refugees to come in with a visa that is difficult to obtain. Jordan has officially closed its border to Iraqi refugees.
How many of these were the perscecuted Christians ?????
When it comes to Mohammedans, the truly evil Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will stop at nothing to jam thousands, that’s right, thousands of Mohammedans down the throats fo small Roman Catholic communities and if they kick about it, it is the same bunch which runs screaming to the Feds that their beloved Mohammedan demon worshipers are being discriminated against. The cost in welfare expenses and education expenses to these communities is astronomical, to say nothing of the toll exacted by having the entire demographic of a community changed because some RC bishop decides that he’ll get a bigger mansion in heaven by imposing Mohammedanism on Catholic communities. What makes matters worse is that up in Maine when the last town in the state to provide tax payer funded bus transportation to Catholic school kids suggested that given the increased education costs faced by the town to educate the bishops Mohammedans,the busing would have to be cut, the bishop pulled out all the stops and threatened to bankrupt the town by closing the Catholic schools and dumping the students on the public system. The town caved.
+John Chrysostomos was right when he said that the floor of hell was paved with the skulls of bishops. I’ll bet most today are of American Roman Catholic bishops.
“How many of these were the perscecuted Christians ?????”
With the Roman Catholic bishops involved you can be sure its near zero. All they want are more Mohammedans.
I live in a town that used to be 85% Northern European Whites. In the 1980s our nation decided to allow many refugees to come to our nation. Over the subsequent twenty-five years, those refugees settled in this town, and across a region it resides in.
Today the former refugees make up over 60% of the town I live in.
Over the last three years or so, one of our White generational community members who sits on the town council, has had strong disagreement with one of the new (relatively) immigrants who also sits on the council. The longer term resident pretty much represents traditional views held by long term residents. The other guy represents the views of some South-Eastern Turkey, Southern former U.S.S.R. residents, and former Iranian nationals.
The White guy has had to hire an armed guard to protect him whenever he goes out in public.
While well meaning, some of the policies our federal officials have put in place, are literally destroying this nation. Our community that used to be about 70% Republican, is now heavily Democrat.
This is what several decades of our national/international policy can do to regions of our nation.
Bosnia all over again...
I remember a leader, if that is the right word, of the Muslim refugee community in Portland, ME complaining in a newspaper interview that the services to the refugees, provided by Catholic Charities, were inadequate, and that his fellow countrymen were scared of the Portland Parkside.
I wrote a letter to the editor reminding the guy and the gentle readers that supposedly they come to the Parkside fleeing the horrors of war in Kabul and Kigali.
That Lewiston mayor deserves a medal. I was not aware of the bussing aspect, but didn’t he write an open letter asking to stop sending the Somali refugees to Lewiston? I think, he also pleaded with the Somalis to stop settling in Lewiston, just as a matter of goodwill. He failed.
“That Lewiston mayor deserves a medal. I was not aware of the bussing aspect, but didnt he write an open letter asking to stop sending the Somali refugees to Lewiston? I think, he also pleaded with the Somalis to stop settling in Lewiston, just as a matter of goodwill. He failed.”
By all indications and reports, the present mayor (not the one who wrote the letter) is a real moon bat who is nothing more than lickspittel for the bishop. He makes a regular practice of threatening criminal prosecutions of anyone who speaks ill of Mohammedanism or or itws demon founder...and he is regularly lionized by the local Catholic priests. He has actually publicly proclaimed that God will give him a “bigger mansion” because of his efforts on behalf of the Islamization of his city.
Somalian Ismail Ahmed, left, of Lewiston, Maine, argues with Jeff Thorsvali, of Portland, prior to a march of support for the Somali community. (AP)
Police said about 250 people participated in a five-block walk from a Methodist church to a mosque where many of Lewiston's Somalis worship. Some gave speeches expressing solidarity with the new arrivals.
"We are one people, we are one community," said Mohammed Abdi, a Somali elder. The United States "is a country made up of immigrants, and one immigrant group came before another. And the Somalis just happened to come ... now."
Abdi was one of several local Somali leaders who met with Mayor Larry Raymond on Friday following Raymond's release of an open letter in which he warned of a strain on resources if more Somalis move to the city of 36,000.
The letter said Lewiston, where more than 1,000 Somalis have settled in 18 months, cannot continue receiving newcomers "without negative results for all."
"We have been overwhelmed and have responded valiantly. Now we need breathing room. Our city is maxed-out financially, physically and emotionally," he wrote.
LEWISTON Leaders of the city's fledgling Somali community called Mayor Laurier Raymond a racist and a bigot for asking Somalis to stop moving to Lewiston from other parts of the United States.
Associated Press Hawa Kahin, right, and Adam Mostafa of Lewiston respond to questions during a news conference in Lewiston on Monday, where they criticized the city's mayor for suggesting in an open letter that Somalis discourage their friends and family members from moving to the city. Lewiston Mayor Larry Raymond said their numbers are putting a strain on city resources.
During a press conference Monday, Somali leaders called on Raymond to apologize and to retract a letter he wrote last week asking the estimated 1,060 Somalis who have moved to Lewiston since February 2001 to give the city some "breathing room."
In an open letter of their own, Somali leaders described Raymond as an "ill-informed leader who is bent towards bigotry." They criticized him for failing to meet with them before writing his letter.