Lebanon hosts approximately 50,000 Iraqi refugees whose status has been in limbo for the past few years. Many of them remain in Lebanese prisons for violating immigration rules and were deemed to have illegal status. A new policy, however, has been adopted as Lebanon will now start to issue residency and work permits to its Iraqi refugees. The Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, reports:
“The Lebanese decision benefiting Iraqi refugees is of particular significance given that it has been taken during a time when the country has been facing political turmoil and volatile security. This is a courageous decision”, said Stephane Jaquemet, UNHCR representative in Lebanon, in a statement.
This is indeed good news for the thousands of Iraqis who have escaped Iraq to come to Lebanon and face the risk of imprisonment for illegal immigration. For Lebanon to accept these refugees while hosting Palestinian refugees is indeed commendable, especially for a deeply sectarian and politically unstable country.