Iraqi refugees

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Angelina Jolie: We Must Help Syria, Iraq Refugees

We're not doing nearly enough, actress writes

(Newser) - The suffering in the Middle East is the worst since Angelina Jolie first started visiting refugee camps in Iraq in 2007, she writes in a New York Times column today. She tells stories of "displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees are desperately seeking shelter from the fighting that has convulsed... More »

Al-Qaeda Bombers Came to US as Refugees

Their fingerprints were found on Iraq IEDs

(Newser) - A pair of Iraqi bomb-making experts who boasted about killing American soldiers made it into the US as refugees because of apparent bungles with background checks—and authorities fear there could be dozens of similar cases, ABC finds. Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi were allowed to settle in... More »

Iraqi Refugees Who Returned Now Leaving Again

Country is still far from stable

(Newser) - Nearly 100,000 refugees have returned to Iraq since 2008, but many are leaving again—and for some, this may be the last time. “I was near a female suicide bomber a couple months ago. Then I was in my brother’s truck when insurgents opened fire on a... More »

Don't Forget Iraqi Refugees: Brangelina

Stars visit with displaced people in Syria

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are in Syria, using their powers for good. The celebrity übercouple visited Iraqi refugees in Damascus today in an attempt to keep the lowest-profile victims of the war from falling off the radar, People reports. Jolie, a goodwill ambassador for the UN's refugee agency,... More »

Angelina Tours Iraqi Camps

UN Goodwill Ambassador sees some improvement for displaced Iraqis

(Newser) - Angelina Jolie visited a refugee camp near Baghdad today, part of her duties as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency, People reports. While visiting one displaced family, she asked if they wished to return to their home. "No way," said one daughter, in a reminder of... More »

US Expands Visa Program for Iraqis Tenfold

5,000 allies, plus families, can come to America annually

(Newser) - The US embassy in Baghdad announced a major expansion of its visa program for Iraqi employees of the American government, raising tenforld the number of work permits it currently offers. The move is the latest step by the Bush administration to answer criticism that it has neglected the Iraqis, particularly... More »

Refugees: Iraq's Unspoken Crisis

US must rebuild shattered lives now or face decades of disorder: Kristof

(Newser) - New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof travels to Jordan to report on one of the unintended consequences of the Iraq war: a regional refugee crisis. About 2 million Iraqis, mostly Sunnis, have fled since the war, living mostly in Jordan and Syria in deplorable conditions. "They are the... More »

Iraq Still Lacks Clean Water, Health Care

Medical system worse than ever at 5-year mark, says Red Cross

(Newser) - Five years after the US-led invasion of Iraq, its health care system is “now in worse shape than ever,” and millions of Iraqis still don’t have clean water and medical care, Reuters reports. “The humanitarian situation in most of the country remains among the most critical... More »

US to Admit More Iraqi Refugees

Speeds up glacial pace of resettlement

(Newser) - The State Department plans to admit 12,000 Iraqi refugees into the US by September, despite resettling only 375 so far this year, CNN reports. Ambassador James Foley, charged with the task of accelerating resettlement, vowed to reporters that the pace will pick up in the coming months. The US... More »

Iraq Invites Refugees Home, but Home Is Gone

350K displaced in Iraq; US military begs Baghdad to build new housing

(Newser) - Baghdad shocked Washington and the UN last month by inviting home 1.4 million refugees from Syria, the Washington Post reports. The UN warned against it, saying exiles would face poverty, but Iraq started a bus line to transport them back. Many found their homes looted and neighborhoods redrawn along... More »

Transient Iraqi Band Hits Turkey

Musicians forced to flee mirror plight of many Iraqis

(Newser) - Four young Iraqis formed Acrassicauda—Baghdad’s only heavy-metal band—in 2001, and since the 2003 invasion have struggled to keep their music (and themselves) alive to prove culture could still exist in their homeland. But playing a Western style of music made them a target, and like many Iraqis,... More »

Iraq Staggered by Flood of Returning Refugees

Nation unprepared for needy hordes

(Newser) - Better security in Baghdad has produced a dangerous and largely unforeseen problem: what to do with an influx of refugees streaming back from Syria and elsewhere now that it's safe to return. Many find their former homes have been occupied and the stranded refugees have few places to turn for... More »

6,000 Iraqi Sunnis Vow to Aid US

Iraqi civilian forces help decrease violence as refugees return home

(Newser) - Almost 6,000 Sunni Arab civilians in Iraq turned against Al-Qaeda yesterday and signed a pact to help US forces police possible insurgent escape routes. As insurgents seek to gain a foothold in the semi-autonomous north, American officials hailed the alliance, which is the Iraq war’s largest single volunteer... More »

Thousands Returning to Safer Baghdad

Driven by better security and lack of funds to stay in Syria

(Newser) - Iraqi refugees are returning to Baghdad by the thousands, convinced that security has dramatically improved, reports the Times of London. The Iraqi embassy in Damascus has even organized a secure convoy to escort Iraqis home next Monday and has posted signs offering free bus and train rides home. “There... More »

Syria to Let US Screen Iraqi Refugees

Move clears way for some to come to America

(Newser) - Syria, home to more than 1 million refugees from Iraq, will for the first time allow US officials into the country to clear the way for their possible resettlement in America, the AP reports. The US, under criticism for not doing more to ease the growing refugee crisis in the... More »

Crocker: Speed Up Iraqi Refugee Policy

Ambassador says 10,000 expats could take 2 years to admit

(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... More »

Iraq's Upper Class Flees

2M Iraqi refugees flood surrounding region

(Newser) - More than 2 million Iraqis have left home, mostly crossing the borders into neighboring Jordan and Syria. And the upper class has been the first to go—robbing the country of the doctors, engineers and government officials necessary to rebuild it. With one of ten Iraqis living abroad, the war... More »

Iraqi Refugees Resort to Prostitution

Displaced women turn to sex trade to support families

(Newser) - As Iraqi refugees flood across the border into Syria, more and more women are turning to prostitution to support themselves and their families. The Times visits the Damascus area, where some women approach men on the street, some work at clubs known as "casinos," and some are even... More »

Dems: Admit Iraqi Refugees

House Dems back bill easing resettlement

(Newser) - With Iraq war refugees numbering in the millions and as many as 70,000 joining their ranks each month, House Democrats will introduce a bill boosting the number of displaced Iraqis eligible for resettlement in the U.S. A total of 18 Iraqi refugees entered the U.S. in February... More »

Iraqi Refugees Flood Into Syria and Jordan

Iraqis are fleeing to their neighbors by the millions, while the U.S. sits pretty

(Newser) - The Iraq war has created nearly two million refugees, and they're going largely ignored by world governments, the UN warns. "There has been an abject denial of the impact, the humanitarian impact, of the war," says a UN refugee agency spokesperson. Most of the refugees stream into neighboring... More »

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