Thursday, February 15, 2007
Is U.S. obliged to accept Iraqi refugees?
Imagine this: A foreign power invades your country, and when it becomes unsafe for you to continue living in your home, that foreign power closes its doors, denying you a visa to escape the violence.

That is what is happening to roughly 1.5 million Iraqis who have been forced from their homes as a result of sectarian violence. Hundreds of thousands more have trekked across the border to Syria and Jordan. So why aren't they coming to the United States?

The figures vary from year-to-year, but in last year, the United States budgeted enough to accept 54,000 refugees. Still, it only accepted 202 Iraqi refugees last year. Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, fewer than 500 Iraqis have been granted visas into the United States.

One of the lucky refugees is a woman we'll call "Sarah." She asked us not to use her real name to protect her family. Now living in Morristown, New Jersey, "Sarah" told me her family was targeted by insurgents because she greeted U.S. troops with flowers when they arrived and is thrilled Saddam Hussein is gone.

The moment she knew she had to leave occurred during her commute to work one morning.

"In the middle of the road we started to notice a car following us. It was following us for a long time," she said. "We noted that there are three men in the car, they were carrying guns, they were aiming the guns at us and they started shooting. We were terrified. We started shouting. It was so scary."

It took six months for her to get a visa for the United States. Still, the rest of her family never even got one. Her parents are now bouncing between her brother in England and her sister in Scotland. Another sister living in Canada just had a baby which "Sarah" isn't even able to see, because her paperwork doesn't allow her to visit Canada.

Looking back, she says she wishes the invasion never happened, because she can't go back to Iraq.

Many of the refugees seeking asylum in the United States are translators who have supported the U.S. war effort. One testified recently on Capitol Hill about the growing danger. He too did not want to be identified, but said this: "The killings were gruesome. Iraqi citizens, including translators, have been shot in the head or beheaded, but only after terrorists forced these people to 'confess' that they were spies and agents of the United States."

The White House has taken heat for not doing more. "Our invasion of Iraq led to this crisis, and we have a clear responsibility to do more to ease it," said Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA).

Yesterday, the U.S. State Department announced it will spend an additional $18 million to help settle Iraqi refugees worldwide and that the United States plans to accept as many as 7,000 Iraqi refugees this year.

But is that too little too late? What is the United States' moral obligation to these people?
Posted By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent: 9:07 PM ET
  60 Comments
are we obligated? in a word: yes.

we destroyed people's homes....and we're denying them a place in ours?
Posted By Anonymous michelle, atlanta, ga : 12:20 AM ET
I do not know how it is decided who gets to come to the US and who does not, but I think that there should be some allowances for the refugees from Iraq to come into the US, especially if we are talking about the trasnlators and such that have proven their willingness to be helpful. However,looking at the situation realistically we can not just let everyone in who asks to come and live here. Our government is already overloaded. We do not adequately keep up with our own American homeless people, how does anyone expect us to keep up with all the foreign people when they come here. Most of them do not have a job or a place to stay once they get here. Those things take time. I understand many of these refugees can not wait it out, as they are in great and immediate danger. I don't have the answers for those people, but I do know some things, Our troops are making a difference over there, and there are thousands of people who have gotten mediacal care and thousands of children who are now getting an education because of the US being in Iraq. Sometimes You have to endure the bad in order to enjoy the good in the end. Yes, some of these people should be allowed into the US, but not everyone, because that is just not feasable!
Posted By Anonymous kimberly, Fort Hood Tx : 12:20 AM ET
Certainly we have an obligation to these people. The Pottery Barn rule is in effect here - "We broke it, we bought it."
Posted By Anonymous Graham, Chicago, IL : 12:24 AM ET
Yes, we do have a moral obligation to accept refugees from Iraq, esp. those who worked with & for us like the translators. Our enemies are their enemies too. We can't just discard them like trash. Yes, it will cost us, but not to will cost them more,& Uultimately us as well.
Posted By Anonymous Gloria, El Paso TX : 1:00 AM ET
Yes, we have a moral obligation to welcome people who are stateless refugees due to US bungling.
Posted By Anonymous Karen Lofstrom, Honolulu, HI : 1:05 AM ET
I believe the U.S. is most certainly obliged to accept Iraqui refugees. I believe all Nato countries are obliged to accept Iraqi, Afghanistan, refugees. We can but only imagine the daily horror these innocent people are living through. They did nothing to deserve this. Their world as they once knew it exists no more due to their country being invaded.

Some years ago I was privilidged to be able to assist a Bosnia couple, Canadian Refugees, in finding employment. I listened in disbelief as they told me their horrid story. Only by the Grace of God a religious organization provided them refuge in Canada.

The mother walked for two days with her two young children to reach the safe haven for their departure to Canada. The men and women had been separated and it would be three more long days before her husband would reach the safe haven. And during their long journey they both feared for their lives and the lives of their children should they be caught trying to escape.

They were professionals with established careers. They were torn at having to leave family members behind as they journeyed to safety.

The horror and heartache these people are living through each day is beyond our imagination.

Obliged to accept refugees? We who are living in a Nation not ravaged by the atrocities of war, should kneel in prayer and thank God for providing us this opportunity. Who among us would like to trade places with these Iraqi citizens? Even being granted a safe haven in the U.S. these people will still have much heartache to bear. God Bless them.
Posted By Anonymous P. Murphy, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada : 1:07 AM ET
It seems to me that we have had a moral obligation to give Iraqi refugees preferred status to settle in the US from the time the war began.
7,000 seems too small.
Posted By Anonymous D.J. Charbonneau Los Angeles California : 1:22 AM ET
Absolutely, America has the moral obligation to help with the refugee problem. Which means even granting visas to families who are the victims of the senseless violence.

The violence is a direct consequence of the invasion which destroyed the institutions that kept peace, how ever non democratic those institutions might have been, during Saddam's reign.

If US does not have the responsibility that who does?. I totally agree that allowing 7000 refugees per year, which is a pitiful number but its a start. And which has been pending for a while in my opinion.
Posted By Anonymous Powell Molleti, San Francisco, CA : 1:31 AM ET
Middle eastern immigrants were responsible for 9/11. Sounds like a great idea to bring more over here, doesn't it?
Posted By Anonymous Marc Patriot, Irvine, CA : 1:33 AM ET
As Colin Powell warned, "you break it, you own it...." -- and we do own this mess in Iraq, and greater still, we are responsible for the tragedy we have caused the Iraqi people.

So, of course, we're obligated to try ameliorate it somehow. Offering asylum is but one way we can assist these anguished people.

The destabilization that has occurred in their country is a result of our presence-- and all of our efforts to "destroy the enemy" have not provided them with the safe and secure environment that we claimed we were there to introduce. To force them to remain in a hell of our creation seems a very, very cruel punishment indeed.

Meanwhile, America goes to the Mall. Driving their SUVs.
Posted By Anonymous Cara, Houston, TX : 1:52 AM ET
This is Bushs war,if he wants to let them in,let em live on his ranch,and let him pay for it all with some of his war profiter friends money,like SAIC,that company I am sure can afford it after ripping off the us government for millions....
Posted By Anonymous Lance Newell,Bellingham,Washington : 1:53 AM ET
Absolutely, we must provide refuge to those who trusted and supported America. Rather than wholesale abandon Iraq, we need to partner with a local government (perhaps the Kurds) to secure strategically placed long term military bases that can provide humanitarian relief, prevent genocide, and deter aggression by Iran after we retreat from Baghdad.
Jim from rural Iowa
Posted By Anonymous James Conroy, Sigourney, Iowa : 2:22 AM ET
Why does the world seem to think we should have a moral obligation to take in more people? We are being invaded by the people of Mexico, thousands of them every day, surely someone else can take in the Iraqi's.America simply cannot take care of the world, the first responsibility is to our own country, we need to secure our own borders and try to deal with the immigrants we already have, legal and Illegal.
Edwin McDonald, Okla.
Posted By Anonymous Edwin McDonald, Clayton, Okla. : 3:18 AM ET
If I'm not mistaken a few millions left Iraq after US decided to introduce democracy in Iraq. US should take tham all just to teach them how the real democracy works.
Posted By Anonymous MH, London, UK (Europe) : 3:39 AM ET
Having changed their home environment into one which is altogether unsafe for people supporting the U.S., we most certainly are obliged to allow them into the country, and pay for their social welfare.
The hawks who were so anxious to liberate the Iraqi people can really put their (and my) money where their (and only their) mouth is now.

take out the parenthetical comments if they seem confusing.
Posted By Anonymous Ross, Long Island, New York : 3:42 AM ET
I signed up for the military to fight Iraqis in their land, so we would not have to fight them here. Now they want to bring them here. So, what's the point of going there? Just bring them all here and we fight them in our homeland...
Posted By Anonymous dasilva, vienna, IL : 3:47 AM ET
For christian Iraqis who's lives are in trouble simply because extremists hate the idea of freedom of religion, I believe some form of special consideration should be given, yes.
Posted By Anonymous Ana A, Ocala FL : 3:49 AM ET
The United States should be responsible for approving Visa applications from law abiding Iraqi citizens, especially those translators and others who have aided the US in some way. It would be irresponsible not to knowing that we will be subjecting these people to torture and death otherwise.

Unfortunately, we can not save all of the lives which we have destroyed, but, we can, at the very least, give them the opportunity to start over and not have to live in fear.

Of course, these are only the people who can afford to get to America, what do we do about the ones who are too poor to leave?
Posted By Anonymous Teri, Fairfax Virginia : 4:24 AM ET
It blows my mind that the country that is reason for the civil war now raging in irag is unwilling to accept a reasonable number of refugees.The task now lays with the U.S.A to clean up the mess they created, a good first step would be helping resue the Iraqies most in need.
Posted By Anonymous Travis, Brisbane Australia : 4:36 AM ET
Its America's mess, so America should take in all the 1.5 million refugees.

A lesson in power and responcibility for you
Posted By Anonymous Suusi M-B, UK : 4:41 AM ET
Is being a USA refugee a lucky thing?

NO, that is why refugee's come to Canada. (Mexico excluded, they come from the US)

As a Canadian (Older brother to the North), I would like to remind my younger brothern, that patience far outseeds the DO-IT-NOW nature...

Fustration is part of getting to know your neighbour, trust us, we know - but we still love our American family.

You see brothers, you have a melting-pot for world cultures, and we (Canadians) have a sharing-pot for cultures.

Canada represents (or should represent) the best of what the world has to offer - it is getting very difficult to do our job, when we are cleaning up after our own american family.

Please be aware, that your Canadian brothers provide 20 percent of your gasoline, and more if we talk about natural gas, fresh water, electric energy, etc...

Canada doesn't attack it's family - we never would - however, taking away priviledges is something that we would do. And the rest of the world is behind our soft natured position. Please don't push us....

Behave please....

Your family....
Posted By Anonymous Joseph, Vancouver, BC : 5:44 AM ET
The U.S. should accept the entire refugee population of Iraq. The U.S. is responsible for creating this situation and it needs to live up those responsibilities.
Posted By Anonymous Ivana Bee, Beausoleil - France : 6:14 AM ET
I find it absurd to even question Iraqi refugees coming to the US in view of the fact that Cubans have been allowed to flood in for 48 years!! We have totally destabilized Iraq; Cuba choose it's own political path and Exiles prevent any rational change to ineffective US Cuban policy.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, Miami FL : 6:18 AM ET
Obviously the U.S. cannot resettle all the Iraqis who choose to leave Iraq. Indeed, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has indicated it believes that most of the Iraqis who are leaving do not meet the internationally accepted definition of a refugee, and that even for those who do qualify as refugees resettlement is the last option, with (eventual) repatriation being preferred and local integration in the country of first assignment next best. However, the neighboring countires, esocially Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, are already super saturated with refugees and are unable or unwilling to provide a permanent home for milliions of Iraqis. Nor is it realisitc to think that inidivuals who are known to have worked for the US and been persecutedc for it are likely to be able to retunr home to Iraq safely anytime soon, if ever. Moreoever, there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of Iraqis who have worked directly for US forces or US agencies in Iraq who have been directly threatened with violence as a result (by insurgents or militias or just everyday Iraqis who don't like the US presence) and it seems to me we do have a special responsibility to help those individiuals who helped us at the risk of their own lives. Some of these individuals have already been killed, or had members of their nuclear families killed as a warning to them to change their ways, and it seems to me we have special obligation to provide a secure refuge to the surviving members of their nuclear families. The US has been in denial about this problem for too long and it's time we take responsibility for the safety of the individulas who assisted our "top foreign policy priority" at the risk of their own lives and the lives fo their families. It's the right thing to do, and it's long past time we did it.
Posted By Anonymous Camille, Alexandria, VA : 6:34 AM ET
Our moral obligation to the people of Iraq is to finish what we have started. And that is to get the government, police, and miltary stabilized enough so that they can sustain themselves in peace. We cannot pull out now and leave a worse mess with how many different sectors of power ruling the govenment. Not to mention the government of Iran trying to take over the country. The democrats need to keep their BIG mouths shut about pulling our troops out now, we will have an even bigger war if we pull out now. Ronald Reagan pulled our troops out 4 months after the beruit bombing years ago in the 80's. What happeden then. Bin Laden came on through a video and smurked and laughed and said the USA suffers a few casulties and they run from us. Thas just what they want us to do is run like a bunch of sissys. There's nothing more that burns me up is when some body makes a mess in my kitchen and doesn't clean it up! So you democrats leave president Bush alone and start supporting our troops instead of giving him a hard time, just in hopes of a democratic prsident gaining the oval office. You democrats are pathetic. And you know nothing about foriegn affairs, or supporting our president for what is good for Freedom for All the World! We need to try and take care of these refugees whether they come here to the USA, or are placed in another country. Amen! Jeff Golden
Posted By Anonymous Jeff Golden York, Pennsylvania : 6:56 AM ET
Given that Iraqi citizens prior to the war, where open minded, tolerant and educated. America has a responsibility to continue this tradition, even if it has ended it in the war, its good that Saddam is dead, but no one can say that the conflict is a sucess, it was shouted to the high heaven, the certainty of failure, given that Bin Laden wanted america to go to iraq, and take saddam out. Some people, will now refuse to help the Iraqi citizens, and they are helping to bring America's rep. to a new low. My God, more people in Britain think Bush is a bigger threat to world peace than Bin laden or Saddam. Stop giving the Terrorists so much free publicity and propaganda.
Posted By Anonymous Donal. Corcaigh, Eire. : 7:17 AM ET
A wise man once said "you break it, you own it" now, own it.
Posted By Anonymous RAM, Fort worth Texas : 7:26 AM ET
Why can't the wealthy country of Saudi Arabia, "our old friends and allies in the region" shoulder part of the burden. Unlike the oft-abused American taxpayer they have untold wealth and income.

Instead of importing labor from Southeast Asia the saudis have a ready willing and able labor force from a Fellow muslim country ready to come in and go to work for them!

And they can keep relations with their families that way in neighboring Iraq.

Mankes a lot of sense to me. Time for KSA to grow up and spend their money on humanitarian issues for a change.
Posted By Anonymous Jan Martell Tours France : 7:28 AM ET
We have destabilized their country... it doesn't make sense to destabilize ours because we feel some guilt! Be realistic . We have responsibility, that's why our military is still there and we're spending millions and billions trying to help them. Do you want to make a change? Take the gloves off our military and stop locking them up for protecting themselves like the lawyers did to the 8 men at Pendleton in California. The money we'd spend housing and caring for them here can be spent over there housing them and caring for them. Don't make one bad decision after another. Fix the problem there, dont bring the problem home. Use some common sense people!! Quit letting your fe-e-e-e-e-elings get in the way of rational thought. We are there trying to make a difference. The Iraqi people need to take some ownership in the problem too. Importing people who aren't capable of living peacefully amongst their own bretheren is not a smart decision.
Posted By Anonymous Mark, Orlando,FL : 7:43 AM ET
Some of you people who have commented here are very ignorant of this war. It was not the citizens of Iraq who attacked our towers on 9/11. Iraq had no ties to Al Queda. Our government has come out and said this. So knowing this information how can you sit back here and blame the war on innocent people?? In every war there are the aggressors and there are the innocent. Not every Iraqi in that country is what Bush would call an "evil-doer". Did you stop to think there are citizens of Iraq who would just like to put their lives back together and live it??? To condemn the nation of Iraq as terrorist is ignorant and heartless. These people did not ask for this war. If you want throw stones over who started this war it was our warmongering government who have all but admiitted they fabricated information to get our nation all riled up against the Iraqis. Get a clue!!! Iraq and Al Queda had no ties prior to 9/11. Al Queda is responsible for 9/11. This is all per our government!!!

That being said our government got our nation into this war and it is it's responsibilty to clean up the messs. I like the suggestion that the refugees be moved to Bushes ranch in Texas. Unfortunatly, this will not happen and the responsibilty will fall on the taxpayers. We do have an obligation to clean up our mess over there. If that means taking in the refugees then so be it.
Posted By Anonymous Betty, Seattle , WA : 8:02 AM ET
I live in Michigan. Home to the largest Arab population in the states. The Sunnis' and Shiites have already clashed over Saddam Husseins execution in the city of Dearborn. They take to the streets to protest what is happening in their country, in our streets. I worry about civil unrest between them here, in our cities.
In Michigan we have had major layoffs in the auto industry, with more to come from Chrysler. Jobs are not easy to find. What we do not need are up to 7000 refrugees coming here to Michigan to be given government help. They will receive education, health care, food and housing from our tax dollars. Sure, they have Cair and others ready to help them - helping them find government programs to pay their way.
Who will track what it costs our state to take them in? No one. Because that would not be politically correct. But it will cost our state alot of money.
They will come. Because our administration will not say no, no matter what the American public wants.
Posted By Anonymous Cathy, Farmington, Michigan : 8:16 AM ET
I understand the Iraqs plight but i'm not ready to accept any of them here in America if anybody should take care of them its Bush and his war friends. Look at what is happening in England b/c they accepted all the muslims they took in, distrust, hate rhetoric all brought on by being to open to others and their ways. America needs to take care of their on first and work with countrys in that region to accept these Iraqs and provide for their resettlemnt in the middleast not here.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, washington D.C : 8:23 AM ET
Why don't the surrounding nations in the Middle East open their doors to the Iraqis? For all of the noise and complaining that we hear from them regarding the war, shouldn't they, the theocratic breathren take in their own?
Posted By Anonymous Chris Lane, Beverly Hills, Florida : 8:29 AM ET
Hell no. We have not yet taken care of Katrina victems or New Orleans. Why should we now take care of 7000 more people
Posted By Anonymous John L Delmar New York : 8:36 AM ET
I am a survivor of torture in South America, Canada open the doors for my family and I, I was only 14 then and has been 30 plus years since then, I love Canada with my all, and I am extremely thankful for all the opportunities they provided for my family and I. My parents had just two boys and we became productive citizens, I am a professional and my brother is a manager on a big corporation. Giving opportunities to Iraqis will be a win win situation, as my family and I, I am sure they want to live in peace and they will cherish the opportunities this country offers, they will be productive members of this society.
Posted By Anonymous Bob from Pittsburgh : 8:54 AM ET
I am really excited about the idea of the refugee's staying at the Bush ranch...I love it!
Posted By Anonymous Wayne, Phoenix : 9:10 AM ET
"Middle eastern immigrants were responsible for 9/11." - Mark, 1:33AM

Mark apparently doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'immigrant'.

Here's a thought - if the US were required to make homes and new lives for the people displaced by its overseas adventures, perhaps we would think a little harder before engaging in them.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 9:11 AM ET
We certainly need to take these refugees in, However how do you tell which ones are legitimate and which ones are here to terrorize our country?
Slippery slope there.
Posted By Anonymous Matt, Williamston, MI : 9:18 AM ET
Of course we should accept the refugees. We started the war in that country. It's our moral obligation to help those who have been displaced due to our leaders bungling.
Posted By Anonymous Siiri, Pagosa springs, Co : 9:18 AM ET
As much as I would like to see this country close the doors to further emigration from any country until the current population homogeonizes thoroughly and peacefully, I do believe we have a moral obligation to arrange refuge for those whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed by our invasion. Not everyone will be a grateful, loyal American-of-Iraqi-heritage once transplanted here: understandably, many will harbor ill feelings against the country that uprooted them. Those, should be resettled either in a "safer" area of Iraq, or in another, preferably middle eastern country. That said, I don't want to see an open door policy that leads to a de facto invasion by groups of people, ostensibly refugess, who may have ulterior motives for coming here. On a case by case basis, administered by a multinational cadre of refugee placement authorities, appropriate matches can be made between voluntary host countries and thoroughly screened refugee applicants.

The growing refugee situation is partly a legacy of the Hussein years, partly the inherent persecutive nature of what is coming to be known as "mainstream" Islam, and partly due to our invasion of their lands.

We can only handle a certain number of immigrants, and we are way above our carrying capacity now. The securing of our borders, and the deportation of all illegal aliens, should become a moral issue at this point. Once the illegal Mexicans and Hondurans and so on are gone, our society can better afford to absorb a reasonable number of Iraqi refugees. The Mexicans and other south of the border invaders have homes and villages to return to, and left by choice. Many of the Iraqis have no safe place to return to, their homes and businesses collateral damage in the US attempt to "liberate" them.

It's gotten to the point, that American citizens have no safe place to return to, either, as we are also becoming refugees in our own country. Just as the Iraqis didn't ask us to invade, we didn't ask the Mexicans to invade us, either. Ask the residents of the formerly safe and productive American communities destroyed by the unwanted invasion of illegal aliens, if they think the Mexican goverment will help resettle them...
Posted By Anonymous Robyn, Pittsville, MD : 9:29 AM ET
Sure, bring them here. Just like we did the Muslim Bosnian refugee who went on a killing rampage in Salt Lake City. No thanks! It wasn't an invasion, we freed them from the tyranny of Sadam. They should be grateful!
Posted By Anonymous Lori Upstate NY : 9:40 AM ET
The United States invaded Iraq because we were protecting OUR interests. It is NOT in the interest to bring in more middle-easterners. The US needs to stop doing what's good for everybody else and start doing what's good for us. By us, I mean the taxpayers who already live here. There are too many people here as it is. Bringing in more people, especially people from that part of the world, is just a bad idea. I propose we deport 7,000 middle-easterners, ans slam the door behind them.
Posted By Anonymous Rob Boston, MA : 9:41 AM ET
The ignorance of Americans is truly bottomless. This was YOUR war---YOU STARTED IT--(unless you believe that ridiculous fairytale about 21 guys from Stone-age villages taking down the ENTIRE US air defenses with a few boxcutters)---and now you want to keep out the people that you "LIBERATED"?
Rest in peace, America---the writing is on the walls.
Posted By Anonymous Danny Casolaro, Martinsburg, VA : 9:46 AM ET
Almost everyone is just so worried about the displaced people. Anyone have a brain to figure out what our guys and gals are going through over there, away from their families? There should be NO obligation to bring displaced people here to a country that is swelling at the seams and can't figure out how to deal with illegal immigration in the first place. This country will be in deep trouble, even more than now, if the leftists (communists) get control.

This country needs to stop the free handouts to immigrants, stop the free money and health services, stop the free naturalization of their children when they run across the border and go into labor. If we stopped the free everything to these people we would not have to do dumb things like build fences and put our military on the borders. No Free Stuff, No Illegal Immigrants.

Millions of dollars saved by such an action could be spent on our American elderly, our American Vets, and our American homeless.
Posted By Anonymous Mark Elms, Fresno, CA : 9:48 AM ET
They should be allowed to move to Crawford, Texas and live on Shrub's ranch.
Posted By Anonymous kelley Boone,nc : 9:53 AM ET
It is immoral to leave people who have helped or cooperated with us behind to face death.
Posted By Anonymous Wm. G. Langston, Piedmont, CA : 9:55 AM ET
I find it ironic that soo many people say that the US is obligated to take in Iraqi refugees when these are the same people, along with GWB, that initially stated to the world that the US doesn't need any of the world's opinion or say so for our own national interest.

GWB told the UN as well as many US citizens and other foreign countries that we can do as we please. Now we are "obligated" to take in Iraqis?

We should be generous and open ended like we are with Cuba and who ever else. But not obligated. Besides, the US never lets Haitians into this country that have had horrible violence for well over a decade. Look at the hypocrisy!
Posted By Anonymous Dana, Stratford, NJ : 10:05 AM ET
Hell yes!!! It's the least we could do since we percipitated this fiasco!!
Posted By Anonymous Darian Agnew, Washington, DC : 10:20 AM ET
My husband is from Egypt and has been trying to get US citizenship for 2+ years. (they are dragging their feet for some unknown reason) He wants to apply for any position here in the Baltimore/Washinton area (even with US gov't if possible) to be of service to people such as Iraqi's & other Arabic-speaking people that would need help settling here. There is such a great need, but he is unable to even apply for any job due to his status. I believe the US Gov't DOES have a responsibility to pick up the pieces of these destroyed families' lives and open the doors for them here if they want to come. A woman greets soldier's with flowers, becomes a target and it still takes 6 months for her to get a visa??? That's ridiculous! As a Christian myself, I am appalled & embarrassed that this administration ignores the plight of the people whose lives they have purposely destroyed. If my husband & I could help even one family from Iraq to get settled here, we will gladly open our hearts & home in a heartbeat.
Posted By Anonymous Marie Mansour, Glen Burnie, MD : 10:27 AM ET
The last thing we need are more hostile Arabs in this country using up resources we can't even offer our own citizens. We need to stop trying to appease these poisoned nations that are hell bent on our destruction and turn our attention back to the many problems at home. If American's didn't have their heads up their ass we wouldn't be stuck in this mess with a shit for brains leader. Let's hope we can wake up for the next election. Bush should find some sanctuary for them in their own land and not stick us with another tab. We didn't want this, it was forced upon us. Better yet, put them all in Texas and the other Red States.
Posted By Anonymous Hope, NY, NY : 10:30 AM ET
Because we cannot be assured that we are not importing terrorists, I'd say let the refugees into an America territory but not the continental U.S. Let them temporarily live in Guam, Virgin Islands, Hawaii, any U.S. island. Wherever they reside, federal govt money will be paying their way, so why not an island nation? If we let them into the lower 48 states, how do we know a terrorist won't say "hey, this is GREAT deal, I get a free pass into the U.S.!" And do not give them status; since the American taxpayers will be supporting them, make this a temporary deal.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 10:35 AM ET
The U.S. Government is only compounding the immigration and terrorism problem by allowing Muslims into our country. Look at Great Britain. Minneapolis has received thousands of Somali's and has been suffering its rath ever since. Taking in thousands of refugees is not the answer.
Posted By Anonymous Chad Dickey Wadena, Mn : 10:53 AM ET
I would say that we HAVE to take them. With what we are doing to them and their country is horrendous. The very least that we could do for them is give them a place to live, eat and sleep.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff, Lafayette, Indiana : 10:56 AM ET
The vast majority of non-Kurdish Iraqis hate us, and at least implicitly support the isurgency. The US is desperately trying to stop the Sunni and Shiite Arabs from going at it like cats in a pillowcase.

We have no obligation to take in people who are implicitly or explicitly responsible for their own country's slide into anarchy. 3300 Americans have died trying to prevent these two factions from massacring each other. We have an obligation to evacuate those who have undeniably helped us try to achieve stability.

Every poll taken over the past year shows most Iraqis believe killing Amaricans is perfectly justified, despite the consistent bipartisan analysis that the US presence is the only thing preventing civil war and genocide.

If we make the decision to leave, we have no further obligation to the vast majority of Iraqis. They are choosing to slaughter each other, they chose to support people who were attempting to force our exit, despite the US spending half a trillion dollars and 3000 lives to prevent it. What other nations are willing to do anything about it? At some level, rational people must recognize we are not responsible for the irrational and ignorant decisions made by others.
Posted By Anonymous Bryan, Dayton, OH : 10:59 AM ET
Amazing, just amazing;

what is it with the so-called liberal leftist socialists in this country??

MILLIONS of Mexicans walked across the border illegally, and now the leftist media is making a big deal about a few dozen Iraqis.

We should deport a few million illegal Mexicans and bring in a few million Iraqis.
Posted By Anonymous Bob, inside a cave in Montana : 11:01 AM ET
Iraqis should show a little backbone and stay in their country and fight. Thousands of our warriors have died to give them a once in a lifetime shot at Democracy and they can't figure it out?
Posted By Anonymous Tony B. LAke Tahoe Ca. : 11:01 AM ET
As a European I can only warn you, not to let those people in. The more Muslims arrive in a country, the more they change it and the more dangerous it becomes for Christians and Jews - not a SINGLE Muslim country has a stable democracy. In parts of Europe, we are experiencing this now on a really dramatic level...

Accept the Christians, who are being prosecuted in the Middle East and who are slaughtered my many of those Extremists, but be careful with Muslims. Once a Muslim takes his faith so seriously, that a women is covering herself...that's the point where you should wake up. Because when they do that, then they will most likely also do the rest that Muhammad wants from them.
Posted By Anonymous Daniel Rahnert, Regensburg, Germany : 11:07 AM ET
I would suggest that some of the opeople writing comments should familiarize themselves with the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 14th ammendment. Anyone born subject to U.S. laws (and that means anybody on U.S. soil who isn't born to parrents who are on the Diplomatic List and hence immune from U.S. laws, is a U.S. citizen at birth. Unless/Until that ammendment is ever changed, a drug trafficker who enterred illegally and gives birth to a child in DHS detention awaiting deportation just gave birth to a U.S. citizen with the same rights as any other American. Many foreiogn nationals come to the U.S. on tourist or other visas for the pourpose of delivering their clhildren here and getting U.S. citizenship for them, and that is perfgectly legal and not an abuse of the U.S. system unless the parents do not pay for the medical care and instead ghave the child on public assistance.

So wake up people, we already have a multicultural society full of Muslims, Chrisitians, Budhists, Taoists, Animists etc. Our policy is, as I would argue ought to be, "Secure Borders, Open Doors" which is to say we welcome legitimate visitors and trake measures to guard ourselves against criminals, terrorists, and intending immigrants using fraudulent means to enter the U.S. There are robust security checks in place to screen potential visitors, immigrants and refugees. We bring in around 50,000 refugees a year with or without the Iraqis, it's just a question of including more Iraqis who helped our interstestg in the mix in an existing immigration program. Being American does not mean being a white anglo-saxon Protestant, or any other kind of Chrisitian. It means being committed to American ideals of freedom and liberty. These Iraqis who risked -- or lost - their lives helping U.S. forces or agencies in their attempt to spread freedom and democracy in Iraq and have been persecuted as a result of their efforts have proven their commitment to U.S. core values.

If we are serious about our belief in those ideals and not racist theocratic hypocrits, we need to do something to help them. We already have a refugee program; let's use it to help these deserving pro-American individuals. Incidentally despite the assertion that the Kurds and Chrisiutinas are the only pro-Amnerican Iraqis, in fact many of these individuals are muslims (both Shia and Sunni).
Posted By Anonymous Camille, Alexandria, VA : 12:15 PM ET
I was against the Bush administration from the beginning! I couldnt even believe he was voted for a second term with all the Lies and deception for reasons to go to Iraq! I feel NO responcibility to accept immigrants from Iraq. I feel if you voted for GWB, than you have made the commitment to support him and the outcome of this illegle war. When will the Republicans accept responciblity for all the deception and lies for going there to begin with. What happened with the WMD"S where are they? What about the BIO Weapons??? Where are they? None to be found and a country totaly overturned for George and his pals to make millions.....You say I am full of it....What about Halburton? We are spending billions on this war that GWB wanted...Let the Republican pay for the dam thing. When will the real truth be heard?
Posted By Anonymous Bob Pawtucket RI : 12:42 PM ET
I didn't break this...I suggest sending all the refugees to "The Decision Maker's" ranch in Crawford, Texas.
Posted By Anonymous Kay McCullen, Santa Cruz CA : 12:43 PM ET
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