US Admitting Fewer And Fewer Iraq Refugees Despite Bush's Pledge To Do More
U.S. admissions of Iraqi refugees are nose-diving amid bureaucratic in-fighting despite the Bush administration's pledge to boost them to roughly 1,000 per month, according to State Department statistics obtained by The Associated Press.
For the third straight month since the United States said it would improve processing and resettle 12,000 Iraqis by the end of the current budget year on Sept. 30., the number admitted has actually slid, the figures show.
The steady decline -- from 450 in October to 362 in November and 245 in December -- means the administration will have to allow in 10,943 Iraqis over the next nine months, or roughly 1,215 per month, to meet the target it has set for itself.
But that goal will be difficult to meet and there are few precedents for such large influxes since hundreds of thousands of South Vietnamese refugees were resettled here after the Vietnam War ended in 1975.