Iraqi refugees returning to Iraq in large numbers

Check it out here!   Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who fled Iraq since the 1970s (they were fleeing Saddam Hussein!) are returning to Iraq.  Of course one of the reasons given in this post is that Syria is no longer stable and many had gone to that neighboring country.  BTW, just a reminder none had gone to rich Muslim Saudi Arabia because the Saudis have a border fence and refuse to take in refugees.

So according to this article, things have improved in Iraq and other neighboring countries are more unstable.  But, many are returning because the economic situation elsewhere isn’t so hot.  And, then some are force-ably returned by certain European countries where they have failed to make their case for asylum (that means those governments didn’t believe their story of persecution or they deemed them threats to the country).

It’s a good article with lots of numbers and charts, however it’s missing one thing I’m looking for—how many have returned to Iraq from the US after we have spent boatloads of money resettling them.  We’ve had stories of returnees who are disgusted because they thought they were walking into mansion-like homes and good jobs only to be placed in city slums and offered menial labor which they thought was beneath them.

Just two points I want to make from Musings on Iraq, but be sure to read the whole thing.

Returning for financial reasons:

A third factor is that Iraq has become more stable in the last couple years. There is still daily violence, but it is more targeted and political in nature, meaning that many Iraqis no longer personally face it on a day-to-day basis. That has been a major pull for internally displaced Iraqis to decide to try to go back to their homes, or at least their original provinces. Finally, some Iraqis have been away from home for years, and fled under duress because of the fighting. Many of those have struggled to restart new lives in their host countries, and are now returning to Iraq for financial reasons.

The number of returnees has been huge for the last three years and we didn’t hear boo about this in the mainstream media.  Where is Matthew Lee of AP?*

Earlier in 2011 it looked like the number of Iraqis coming back had stagnated. In the last few months there has been a considerable upsurge however, which makes it look like more people will return this year than last. This is still not up to the numbers seen in 2008 and 2009 when over 200,000 returns were recorded annually, but the figures are encouraging. The problem as ever is what will these people face when they go back. The lack of government and outside support is limited, and the job, housing, and service situation within Iraq is poor.

*  Lee is the Associated Press reporter who like clock work at the end of each month (when the numbers came in from the State Department) in the waning days of the Bush Administration wrote chiding articles throwing the blame to that bad old George Bush that we weren’t bringing Iraqis fast enough (because it was all our fault).  He needs now to write a story about the Iraqi terror suspects who got in, and about those who are thumbing their noses at our generosity and going home after we’ve resettled them at huge taxpayer expense.

All of our extensive coverage on Iraqi refugees can be found in our category by that title (506 previous posts).

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