Sunday, October 5, 2008

Iraqi Refugees in Michigan

We have reported many times on the refugee crisis created by the U.S. invasion of Iraq. While the United States has admitted some Iraqi refugees, addressing their their needs can be a burden on state and local governments. Gregg Krupa reports for the Houston Chronicle:

Michigan's economy is so bad that the State Department is sending fewer Iraqi refugees to the area because of concerns that their future would not be bright.

After a request by relief workers, the policy of bringing Iraqis to metro Detroit if relatives or friends live in the area was changed to allow only those with immediate family to settle here, according to the State Department.

"The State Department has taken the measure of things and decided it would be better to send them somewhere else, where they might be self-sufficient, instead of coming to Michigan, because the economy is very bad here, and we have the highest unemployment in the country," Belmin Pinjic of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan said.

The Christian population of Iraq is under intense pressure as extremists root them out from villages and homes, officials say. But Muslims, especially those who have been employed by the United States in Iraq, also are seeking refuge in America.

State Department officials said the policy change was implemented in late June partly because relief workers were having difficulty finding the refugees jobs. Click here for the rest of the story.


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