Out-of-Date Passports Strand Iraqi Expats

New requirements catch innocent victims in snare for terrorists
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2007 4:23 PM CDT
Iraqi cleric Ammar al-Hakim, shows his passport as he speaks...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – In an unintended consequence of regulations meant to hinder terrorists, Iraqi expats are stuck with out-of-date passports and no way to replace them. Iraq now issues documents that meet international standards, the Wall Street Journal reports, but emigres and refugees stuck with Saddam-era passports or handwritten documents that date to the US invasion have no way to get replacements.

No system to get new passports to Iraqi citizens living abroad exists. Applicants must go through embassies in London and Jordan, which can take months. Meanwhile, when an Iraqi living in the US requests a passport, the country uses the obsolete style that no longer meets American security standards—ensuring the traveler won't be allowed to reenter the country.