Writing in the LA Daily News, in a piece full of harrowing stories of flight from Iraq, Pamela Hartman states
The United States has not liberalized its refugee policy in response to the worsening crisis in Iraq. More than 1 million Iraqi refugees of all religious backgrounds have poured into Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. In fiscal year 2006, just 202 Iraqi refugees were resettled in the United States.
The 1 million figure is broadly consistent with other estimates I’ve seen, but there’s no source for the amazingly low figure of 202 refugees. (If anyone can point to a data source that would be great.) I assume this excludes people like many of Hartman’s clients who’ve found some other route such as a family relationship, but that can’t change the fact that the US is ducking a central responsibility here.
Of course, the same is true in spades for Australia. At the same time as promoting the disastrous Iraq venture, many of our local warmongers have enthusiastically backed the view that we have no obligations to the refugees it has created, and are entitled to turn back any asylum-seekers who have not travelled here directly from Iraq (I’m sure that if any direct routes were feasible, a way would be found to block their use, so please don’t bother with legalistic defences of this disgraceful hypocrisy).
There’s no real way to salvage the disaster we’ve created in Iraq. But we must at least accept the responsibility of providing a haven to those fleeing the carnage we have created.
Update Judging by the comments, the pro-war view is that our obligations to take refugees extend only, or at least preferentially, to Christians.