The figures for Iraqis resettled in the US for the month of May indicate that numbers are on the rise. According to the Associated Press, James Foley, who is the State Department’s director for Iraqi refugees, claims that the US resettled 1,114 in May and also claims that approximately another 8,000 are in the late stages of the process thereby signaling that the US may fulfill its promise to resettle 12,000 refugees by the end of September 2008.
While this is good news, the rate of acceptance has to further increase to meet the 12,000 goal. Furthermore, the 12,000 goal pales in comparison with the thousands who are at risk due to their work for the US and the millions of others who barely eek out an existence in neighboring countries or who are internally displaced.
Furthermore, The Washington Post reports on the initial progress of the new processing center in Baghdad. Until recently, Iraqis seeking to relocate to the US had to live in exile in Syria, Jordan, or Egypt to be processed by the US:
The office, which began interviewing applicants May 10, has already finished processing 80 embassy employees for departure, and the first two arrived in the United States this week, according to Ambassador James B. Foley
At the same time as these positive developments come to light, the US is also encouraging refugees to return to Iraq. According to Reuters, Foley lauded the Iraqi Prime Minister’s plan of spending $195 million for refugee return but claimed it was not enough. Here is what Iraqi Christians resettled in Sweden think of repatriation: