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Iraqi Refugees Added to Amnesty List in Senate

Law would allow huge migration of Iraqis to US

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) has introduced The Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act (S.1651), as another amendment (No. 2872) to the Defense Authorization bill that is now before the Senate, and which has evoked a http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=1814.

The Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act would give US “special category” residency status to Iraqi collaborators who worked for the US and coalition occupation forces, many as translators and interpreters. The act would classify such people as refugees, and would also open a path for some of the estimated 4 million Iraqis who have been displaced internally or in neighboring nations. As it is, the United States is already pledging to take in 25,000 such people in 2007 alone. In January Kennedy said that 2.2 million Iraqis were refugees, upping the claimed number now to 4 million, or 15% of the population of Iraq, with an additional 2 million living in hiding.

The amendment has the support so far of Senators Biden (D-DE), Brownback (R-KS), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Hagel (R-NE), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Lieberman (I-CT), Menendez (D-NJ), Obama (D-IL), Smith (R-OR), Snowe (R-ME), Voinovich (R-OH), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Wyden (D-OR).Kennedy has stated that “America has a special obligation to keep faith with the Iraqis who now have  a bulls-eye on their back because of their association with our government. At our hearing in January, chilling testimony was presented about the dangers Iraqis face because of their association with America. Clearly, we cannot resettle all of Iraq’s refugees in the United States, but we have a fundamental responsibility to help the vast number of Iraqis displaced in Iraq and throughout the region by the war and the associated chaos, especially those who have supported America’s efforts in Iraq.”

2007-09-20

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