Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

U.S. Congress bills propose that Iraqis targeted for helping U.S. should be helped in return with eased resettlement

As many as 110,000 Iraqis may be targeted as collaborators for helping U.S., coalition or foreign reconstruction efforts, according to an editorial in The Washington Post. Yet those same Iraqis may not be able to resettle in the U.S. as refugees.

The Iraqis who collaborate are frequently at risk of kidnapping, murder and persecution. At least 257 translators have already been killed, according to Human Rights First.

Because of this violence, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has referred more than 8000 Iraqis to the U.S. for resettlement during this year alone. Yet fewer than 200 have been admitted.

Iraqis who do apply for resettlement through the UNHCR must first brave crossing a border, as they cannot apply for refugee status while in Iraq.

Bills introduced by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) would create a special immigrant visa category for Iraqis who have worked for the U.S., allowing them to apply for resettlement within Iraq and without having to go through the UNHCR.

For the full article, click here.


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