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U.S. passes Iraqi refugee admissions goal

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U.S. passes Iraqi refugee admissions goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration said Friday it has surpassed its goal of allowing 12,000 Iraqi refugees into the United States this year and will try to admit at least 17,000 next year.After streamlining the admissions process under criticism for not doing enough for Iraqis who have fled their country since the 2003 U.S. invasion, officials said 12,118 Iraqi refugees had arrived in the country since Oct. 1, 2007 and another 1,000 are booked on flights to America.

The criticism — sparked by the admission of fewer than 2,000 Iraqi refugees in the previous budget year — led the administration to pledge to improve its record and accept at least 12,000 between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008.

"We intend to significantly increase the number we admit," said James Foley, the State Department's senior coordinator for Iraqi refugee issues. "Depending on events in the region and barring any unforeseen developments, we expect to admit a minimum of 17,000 Iraqi refugees next year. Our aim is to maximize capacity and 17,000 is the floor."

"We recognize our unique responsibilities toward displaced Iraqis and we have acted on that recognition," he told reporters.

Several thousand more Iraqis, those who worked for the U.S. government or contractors, and their families are expected to enter the United States this year and next under a special immigrant visa program that is separate from the refugee process, he said. Up to 5,000 special immigrant visas are available per year under the plan.

Refugee advocates, who had praised the administration for improving the admissions process, had wanted the minimum to be raised by far more than the 5,000 Foley announced Friday. Last month, a coalition of advocacy organizations suggested an appropriate number would be 105,500.

Critics note that some other countries, notably Sweden — which has granted asylum to about 40,000 Iraqis since 2003 — have taken in more Iraqis for their size and population than the United States. More than two million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.

"The U.S. response is incommensurate with the scope of the need," the groups, including Refugees International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children, said in a statement.

On Friday, Refugees International said the goal of 17,000 resettlements next year is not enough. The group pointed to an estimate from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees that 90,000 Iraqi refugees in the region will be in urgent need of resettlement next year.

Foley conceded that not all administration critics would be satisfied. He also noted that the United States had more than doubled assistance to Iraqi refugees in third countries this year, to $318 million.

He appealed for more countries to help displaced Iraqis, particularly the Iraqi government, which to date has provided only $25 million in assistance.

The U.S. effort has been hampered first by bureaucratic infighting between the departments of state and homeland security and then by a lack of cooperation from some host countries. Syria, home of the largest number of Iraqi refugees, had restricted access to U.S. screeners, hampering applicant interviews.

Improved cooperation, along with better coordination in Washington and the start of refugee processing in Baghdad itself, enabled the administration to substantially boost admissions from budget year 2007, when it accepted only 1,608 Iraqi refugees.

Record numbers of Iraqis were allowed into the United States in April, May, June and July.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/20...-refugees_N.htm

Now, if only they could just approve my husband!


Married: May 28th, 2007

Arrived in the US: December 10th, 2008

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I read it and at the end thought the same thing you posted!! I am guessing no word yet.

U.S. passes Iraqi refugee admissions goal

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration said Friday it has surpassed its goal of allowing 12,000 Iraqi refugees into the United States this year and will try to admit at least 17,000 next year.After streamlining the admissions process under criticism for not doing enough for Iraqis who have fled their country since the 2003 U.S. invasion, officials said 12,118 Iraqi refugees had arrived in the country since Oct. 1, 2007 and another 1,000 are booked on flights to America.

The criticism — sparked by the admission of fewer than 2,000 Iraqi refugees in the previous budget year — led the administration to pledge to improve its record and accept at least 12,000 between Oct. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2008.

"We intend to significantly increase the number we admit," said James Foley, the State Department's senior coordinator for Iraqi refugee issues. "Depending on events in the region and barring any unforeseen developments, we expect to admit a minimum of 17,000 Iraqi refugees next year. Our aim is to maximize capacity and 17,000 is the floor."

"We recognize our unique responsibilities toward displaced Iraqis and we have acted on that recognition," he told reporters.

Several thousand more Iraqis, those who worked for the U.S. government or contractors, and their families are expected to enter the United States this year and next under a special immigrant visa program that is separate from the refugee process, he said. Up to 5,000 special immigrant visas are available per year under the plan.

Refugee advocates, who had praised the administration for improving the admissions process, had wanted the minimum to be raised by far more than the 5,000 Foley announced Friday. Last month, a coalition of advocacy organizations suggested an appropriate number would be 105,500.

Critics note that some other countries, notably Sweden — which has granted asylum to about 40,000 Iraqis since 2003 — have taken in more Iraqis for their size and population than the United States. More than two million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries, mainly Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.

"The U.S. response is incommensurate with the scope of the need," the groups, including Refugees International, Human Rights Watch and Save the Children, said in a statement.

On Friday, Refugees International said the goal of 17,000 resettlements next year is not enough. The group pointed to an estimate from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees that 90,000 Iraqi refugees in the region will be in urgent need of resettlement next year.

Foley conceded that not all administration critics would be satisfied. He also noted that the United States had more than doubled assistance to Iraqi refugees in third countries this year, to $318 million.

He appealed for more countries to help displaced Iraqis, particularly the Iraqi government, which to date has provided only $25 million in assistance.

The U.S. effort has been hampered first by bureaucratic infighting between the departments of state and homeland security and then by a lack of cooperation from some host countries. Syria, home of the largest number of Iraqi refugees, had restricted access to U.S. screeners, hampering applicant interviews.

Improved cooperation, along with better coordination in Washington and the start of refugee processing in Baghdad itself, enabled the administration to substantially boost admissions from budget year 2007, when it accepted only 1,608 Iraqi refugees.

Record numbers of Iraqis were allowed into the United States in April, May, June and July.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/20...-refugees_N.htm

Now, if only they could just approve my husband!


None of my posts have ever been helpful. Be forewarned.

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No, we haven't gotten word. Everything is done. He just needs the phone call saying he is approved. Then he goes in to book the flight, work out arrangements to pay his overstay fines for Jordan, and gets his America orientation classes.

Most of the Iraqis he saw going through the US refugee process were Christians and not many muslims. Also, they seem to approve single women (especially with kids) and families before men that are traveling alone. I think this puts him on the bottom of the list for approval. Never mind that he is married to an American.


Married: May 28th, 2007

Arrived in the US: December 10th, 2008

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Yay. I love Iraqis. We need more Iraqis in Boston!!!!!


June 14, 2007 Sent I130 to Vermont Service Center via USPS overnight

June 15, 2007 Confirmed on usps.com that VSC has received packet

June 29, 2007 Check cashed by USCIS (hey they opened my packet!)

June 30, 2007 Received NOA1

July 7, 2007 I130 touched

July 9, 2007 I130 touched

July 10, 2007 I130 touched

Aug. 24, 2007 I130 touched

Aug. 26, 2007 I130 touched (stop feeling up my husband's case and get him over here, yala!)

Oct. 1, 2007 On my way to Palestine

Oct. 5, 2007 I130 approved, transferrerd to NVC YAY!!!!

Oct. 16, 2007 Return to US, ranks one of the saddest day of my life:(

Oct. 27, 2007 Agent form/AOS bill received from NVC

Nov 1, 2007 Overnighted AOS payment to NVC

Nov. 29, 2007 Received AOS form from NVC

Dec. 20, 2007 overnighted I864 packet to NVC

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