The International Rescue Committee released “Iraqi Refugees in the United States: In Dire Straits” yesterday; a follow-up on the IRC Commission’s report in March 2008, “Five Years Later, A Hidden Crisis“, which evaluates how resettled Iraqis are adjusting to their new lives in America.
The IRC stated that the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program is “outdated and under-funded”. The IRC Commission delegations traveled to Atlanta and Phoenix and found that while many Iraqi refugees expressed “deep gratitude for their safety and freedom in the U.S.,” they were anxious about their future and many have been unable to find work.
The report concluded that the U.S. resettlement program is “dangerously” underfunded and that the current economic climate has highlighted the faults in the system. The U.S. goverment and Congress should take immediate action, according to the IRC Commission, by providing urgent supplemental funding for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to address needs like emergency rent payments and flexibility in repayments of loans to refugees and travel expenses. Please read the IRC’s report in full to learn more.
While the economic downturn has made job seeking difficult for Americans and Iraqis alike, many of the recently resettled Iraqis from our List have found meaningful, long-term employment. The List Project works with Upwardly Global to help Iraqis in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and New York City find work. Please join us on Netroots to help our Iraqi allies settle into life in the U.S.