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Senate Passes Iraqi Refugee Amendment

George Packer reports: The amendment raises the number of Iraqi interpreters and U.S. government employees (with at least one year of service) who can be admitted under a special immigrant visa program from five hundred to five thousand each year … Read More

By / October 1, 2007

George Packer reports:

The amendment raises the number of Iraqi interpreters and U.S. government employees (with at least one year of service) who can be admitted under a special immigrant visa program from five hundred to five thousand each year for the next five years. It creates a special category (“Priority 2”) of persecuted Iraqis—including U.S. employees, people working for American news and nongovernmental organizations, contractors, and members of religious minorities, and their families—whose refugee applications can be heard directly by the U.S. government without a United Nations referral, which should speed up and streamline an extremely sluggish process. And the bill allows for these applications to be reviewed at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, so that Iraqis don’t need to flee the country and become refugees elsewhere first (though the language on this point is vague, and there will have to be continuous pressure to make it happen).

About time. Those suffering from liberal outrage fatigue should work up a pulsating neck vein or two for George Bush's greatest crime in office: staying silent on the refugee catastrophe his mismanaged war has created.

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