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Brookings Institution: “And so, Iraqi refugees continue to wait”

Voluntary return is not a permanent solution when those “who have returned since 2008 have largely done so because of deteriorating conditions in exile rather than confidence that life is back to normal in Iraq.” And local integration seems unpromising when “Iraqi refugees will likely continue to be tolerated but increasingly resented in host countries.”

This leads Elizabeth Ferris of the Brookings Institution, in an eloquent article tracing the development of the refugee crisis and attempts to resolve it, to conclude that resettlement “has emerged as a favored option.” A favored option is not the same as a favorite option, and Iraqi refugees who have resettled in the United States and Europe have confronted unexpected challenges in finding both employment and acceptance—but for many, uncertainty about the future is a price they are willing to pay to move on from the danger they left behind in Iraq and the limbo they find themselves inhabiting in neighboring countries.

Ferris reminds us that “[i]n a world beset by humanitarian crises… the Iraqi refugees are still there.”