Over 40 NGO’s ask Obama to resettle more Iraqis in the US

Here is more on the orchestrated campaign to bring ever-expanding numbers of Iraqi refugees to the US, but these groups are getting really tricky about mentioning numbers.  Just yesterday I told you that Refugees International’s CEO Ken Bacon was making some sensible remarks about helping Iraqis return home, but behind the scenes they are keeping the drums beating to bring tens of thousands to the US.

(Washington, DC) – Writing to President Barack Obama in response to his new Iraq strategy, International Medical Corps is one of more than 40 leading U.S.-based organizations to praise the President’s promise to help vulnerable Iraqis and call for a comprehensive humanitarian, development and refugee resettlement strategy led by civilian agencies.

The letter’s recommendations reflect broad consensus among aid agencies working inside Iraq, refugee advocates and resettlement agencies assisting and protecting Iraqi refugees in the region and here in the U.S., leading faith-based organizations, and human rights groups. Click here for the letter and list of signers.

You will have to go to the letter dated yesterday to not only see who signed the letter, but to see the part of the letter that concerns us.  They say the “comprehensive” strategy must include resettlement of 50% of the Iraqi refugees who UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees) identifies as needing resettlement.   So what the heck is that number?

You need to then return to Refugees International’s (with these same groups) blueprint published this summer to see what sort of mind-blowing numbers they have in mind:

While the U.S. may achieve its goal of resettling 12,000 Iraqi refugees here in the current fiscal year, the needs are much greater. We ask the U.S. to reconsider resettling 105,500 refugees from Iraq and, if necessary, to reassess this number for the next few years. As part of that request, we ask for U.S. government support, including financial support, to enable the U.S. to build the international and domestic capacity necessary to quickly resettle this substantially larger number of Iraqi refugees.

Here is how we calculated that resettlement need:

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that 88,000 Iraqi refugees need immediate protection through resettlement next year. The U.S. generally resettles 50% of all refugees resettled in the world each year, bringing in the U.S. share for 2009 to: 44,000

Palestinian refugees living in desperate conditions on the Iraqi – Syrian border need immediate protection through resettlement: 3,000

The most recently available figures show that the State Department is currently processing 7,000 petitions to bring families averaging three people each to the U.S. to join with Iraqis who have already resettled in the U.S: 21,000

The Refugee Crisis in Iraq calls for admitting refugees who were persecuted due to their affiliations with the U.S. Government and other U.S. based organizations. Many of these refugees have left or are in the process of leaving the country and face an urgent need of assistance and protection as their resources run out. The U.S. should immediately resettle annually: 37,500

Are we talking about the whole 105,500 or just the first priority where the UN has identified 88,000 refugees in need of resettlement which still means these 40 plus groups want to bring 44,000 Iraqis to the US this year.   We can’t take care of the 17,000 or so we brought here already, so 44,000 should just about do-in the refugee resettlement program. 

 Keep it up guys, just keep it up.

Endnote:   I feel sorry for the local workers in the subcontractor refugee offices, the people having such a challenging time finding work and decent housing for the Iraqis already in the US.  Did you know your head offices are lobbying for tens of thousands more Iraqis?  Do they ever confer with you guys on this?

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