An article published today in The Wall Street Journal draws attention to the plight of thousands of Iraqis who are stranded in Iraq following the United States’ June suspension of refugee processing there. 38,000 Iraqis are currently in limbo awaiting interviews, which will not be scheduled until refugee processing resumes. This backlog increases by an estimated 2,000 cases each month.
Many of these individuals risked their lives to assist U.S. missions in Iraq, and became targets as a result of that service. These Iraqis and their families have faced kidnapping, torture, and death threats. With the rise of ISIS, their vulnerability has only increased. Minorities like the Yazidis face a particularly grave risk.
The Journal article quotes IRAP’s National Policy Director, Katherine Reisner: “We are leaving directly in harm’s way the very people we had always intended to protect.” IRAP, along with over 25 members of Congress who recently signed a bipartisan letter to President Obama, advocates strongly for the United States to begin processing refugees out of the U.S. consulate in Erbil. Erbil is located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where thousands of the most vulnerable individuals are currently seeking sanctuary. Resuming refugee processing there would thus enable thousands of endangered Iraqis to pursue safety abroad.
The United States must take action to ensure that its allies in Iraq are not
Learn more by reading the full Journal article here.