Crocker: Speed Up Iraqi Refugee Policy

Ambassador says 10,000 expats could take 2 years to admit
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2007 10:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ambassador Ryan Crocker says the US needs to get moving on admitting Iraqi refugees. In a State Department memo titled "Iraqi Refugee Processing: Can We Speed It Up?", Crocker writes that thousands of desperate Iraqis are facing bottlenecks to their resettlement, and that at the present rate it would take two years to admit the 10,000 refugees referred to the US by the United Nations.

The issue didn't get much attention during Crocker and Petraeus' recent testimony before Congress, but the ambassador appears increasingly concerned. The subject has divided the parties, and will likely be a major topic of discussion when Condi Rice meets with congressional leaders this week. "The least we can do is our part to allow those at risk to resettle here," says Senator Ted Kennedy.