Iraqi Palestinians set to arrive in the US: when and how many?

From time to time I’ve written about the Palestinians who originally went to Iraq at Saddam Hussein’s invitation, but when Saddam met his end, they became targets of Iraqis who hated Saddam.   So they fled, but no Muslim country would take them and they live in camps along the Iraq-Syria border.   A few have gone to Chile and Iceland, other places in Europe too.

These Palestinians have not been shy in speaking out about the hypocrisy of the Arab world—the mythical Muslim charity has not been offered to them.   And, by the way, the reason Palestinian “refugees” continue to live in Gaza after decades is that no Muslim country wants them either.  Those countries need the refugee hammer (sword!) over Israel.

Well, now it appears thousands of Iraqi Palestinians will come to the US.  Exactly how many and when seems to be up in the air.   Or better still, it probably isn’t up in the air as far as the State Department goes, it’s just that we don’t know.   Note this comment thread on the post I wrote the other day about Palestinians going  to Canada.

Kristen:

the US will also be taking 5000 of these Palestinians this Fiscal Year, i think they are scheduled to start coming in July.

Me:

Kristen, are you speculating that we are taking 5000, or do you know something we don’t know yet! 

Timisoara:

Kristen, as far as I know, the US will also be taking about 1200 (not 5000) of these Palestinians, and most will arrive in the next US government fiscal year (e.g. in the Fall). They’re coming from the Al Waleed refugee camp, near the Iraq-Syrian border. There are discussions about accepting Palestinians from the Al Tanaf and Al Hol refugee camps, but both camps have problems with access, and they’re fewer than 500 individuals each.

Kristen:

Sorry for the late response. Until Friday, I was working for an affiliate of ECDC [Ethiopian Community Development Council, one of the Top Ten government contractors], and we had started to receive assurance forms for a few of these Palestinian cases. According to ECDC, the US will be taking 5,000 of these cases on an “emergency” basis before this fiscal year ends. I am not working there, but that was the last that I had heard.

The US doesn’t normally take Palestinians.  We  have taken less than a dozen Palestinians in FY2008 and about the same number this fiscal year so far.  I wonder if the Iraqi Palestinians will be listed as Palestinians or hidden in the Iraqi refugee data?

Searching around just now to see if I could find any confirmation of what our commenters are saying, I did find this at Relief Web:

The Iraqi Palestinian population is fairly small – only a few thousand. So far the U.S. has not taken in any of the refugees from Al-Tanf. To its credit, it has agreed to take in many of the Palestinian Iraqis staying in Al-Waleed camp, another of the three similar border camps. But the US can do more.

Wonder when the mainstream media will notice this story, probably only when they are moving in next door.

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