More than two million refugees from Iraq have fled to neighboring countries, mostly in Jordan and Syria. Another two million Iraqis are displaced within Iraq due to violence and persecution. The needs of these uprooted people are enormous.
Many fleeing Iraqis have no legal status in nearby countries and desperately need our help. Inside Iraq they need food, medicine, jobs, and a safe place to live.
The U.S. has a special responsibility to protect and assist these Iraqis. More Iraqi refugees should be allowed to resettle in the U.S. -- especially if they are at risk because they worked for Americans or they belong to religious, ethnic, or other persecuted groups. Also members of female-headed households, unaccompanied children, and refugees that have close family members in the U.S. should have the opportunity to apply for resettlement.
While resettlement in the U.S. will be available for only a tiny fraction of vulnerable Iraqis, coming to the U.S. may save their lives and give them and their families a future. The U.S. should also help other countries keep their doors open to Iraqi refugees fleeing persecution and violence by sending more lifesaving assistance.
The U.S. Senate has recently approved the "Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act" as an amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. This important bill provides for admission to the U.S. of many vulnerable Iraqis - including those targeted because of their association with the U.S. - and calls for more protection and aid for Iraqis that have been displaced. The next step for this bill is a conference between key Senators and Representatives.
Please urge your Senators and Representatives to support the Senate-passed provision on Iraqi refugees that is part of the Defense Authorization bill.
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