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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

OUTRAGE OF THE DAY: US SETS UP UNWORKABLE REFUGEE PROGRAM FOR IRAQIS AIDING THE US WAR EFFORT

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I was in a bit of disbelief a few weeks ago when I was contacted by an Iraqi fellow who was working as an accountant for a US contractor who was genuinely in fear for his life for assisting the US government. He asked what his options were and when I contacted HIAS, the refugree agency on whose board I served, I learned that the only option for this individual was to escape Iraq and seek refugee status in a neighboring country, something that is extremely difficult. The New York Times today offers an editorial taking the White House to task for not taking care of these folks - approximately 69,000 of them - who are putting their lives at risk to help our country. Whether you are for or against the war in Iraq, most Americans would agree that we should take care of these folks. In the words of the Times, we have a moral obligation to help them.  The US needs to establish a procedure to process these folks for refugee status inside Iraq and then to help them get out of the country. Why we're wasting time when people are getting killed everyday is a question that deserves an answer.

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  1. USC's Avatar
    Another NY Times Op-ed, from Poppy's speech writer:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/03/opinion/03lange.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    Note the references to:

    "with a wage fakery worthy of the Soviet Union."

    "We would have the Immigration and Naturalization Service"

    On the first, I am glad that he agrees that we do not want to follow in the footsteps of the USSR/Russia.

    I use the term INS to protest the policcies and functioning of USCIS, I hope that he is doing the same but more likely it is ignorance/force of habit!

  2. Lisa Enfield's Avatar
    I just don't agree that we owe these good Iraqis passage to the U.S. and LPR status. Isn't that contrary to what we are trying to achieve in Iraq, a stable quasi democracy where people respect each other? Doesn't Iraq need such people to redefine the culture and enrich society? If we encourage right thinking folks to leave, then Iraq loses that invaluable asset and there are that many more nihilists in charge. I say, keep these good folks in Iraq, ensure their safety there and encourage their pro-Iraq patriotism.
  3. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Lisa - That sounds nice except for the fact that all of these people are now being sought out for execution. This is not a brain drain issue. If they stay, they stand a good chance of being murdered. Hundreds of them already have been targeted and murdered direct because of their service to the Americans. The fit the classic definition of refugee and if we deny them entry to the US it will make a mockery of the refugee program.
  4. Ethan's Avatar
    Well, I have an impression that US will pass some kind of emergency bill to allow maybe half of those 65,000 people to come when US decided to pull out its troops. This will reflect what was done during that fateful year of 1975.

    On the other hand, did Britsh helped any "Good Americans" when they failed to crash "American Revolutionary"?
  5. Legal and waiting's Avatar
    Lisa apparently is living in a dream land, where good Iraqis should stay home and build a beautiful country. These Iraqis are however living in the hell reality, where people they know are being killed execution style every day.
  6. Alex's Avatar
    "On the first, I am glad that he agrees that we do not want to follow in the footsteps of the USSR/Russia."

    Why not USSR/Latvia?
  7. USC's Avatar
    "Why not USSR/Latvia?"

    Sure. There are many countries that we don't need to emulate. If Latvia still maintains repressive USSR, Iran etc type laws you could substitute their name too.
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