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What are we thinking???

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has surpassed its goal of admitting 12,000 Iraqi refugees this year and expects more, perhaps tens of thousands, next year, the State Department said on Friday.

The United States expects to admit a minimum of 17,000 Iraqi refugees in fiscal 2009, which begins October 1, the department's senior coordinator for refugees said. Thousands more Iraqis and their family members could arrive through a special visa program for people who worked for the United States or its contractors.

"I think you'll see the U.S. government admitting over the course of fiscal 2009 tens of thousands of Iraqis into the United States," coordinator James Foley told reporters.

Up to 3,000 could come from Baghdad, where the United States began interviews this year, he said.

So far this year, 12,118 Iraqi refugees have arrived and 1,000 more are booked to travel to the United States by the end of this month, when the U.S. fiscal year ends, he said.

That marks a huge leap from just 1,600 Iraqis admitted in the previous year. That number drew widespread criticism from refugee groups that said Washington should do more to help millions of Iraqis who have fled instability and violence since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

The number is still lower than what some other countries have taken. Sweden, a country of 9 million people, has admitted over 40,000 Iraqis since 2003.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 2 million Iraqis are living abroad, mostly in neighboring Jordan and Syria. Some 2.5 million are internally displaced.

One refugee advocacy group, Human Rights First, said it welcomed the news Washington had met its target for Iraqi arrivals in 2008 but that the "low" goal of resettling 17,000 refugees in fiscal 2009 should be raised to at least 30,000.

"The number of Iraqi refugees we have welcomed to our shores is still just a fraction of those in need," said Amelia Templeton of the New York-based group. She said the U.N. refugee agency estimated that 85,000 Iraqi refugees from the most vulnerable groups would need resettlement next year.

Foley called on the government of oil-rich Iraq to do more to help Iraqi refugees abroad as well as plan for returning Iraqis by addressing their needs for security, social services and property compensation.

So far, he said, Iraq had spent only about $25 million to help its refugees abroad, and provided about $200 million for an initiative to help returning refugees. The latter amount was "rather small," considering the number of Iraqi refugees and the improving security situation inside Iraq, Foley said.

"One cannot rule out in these situations the possibility that the refugees in large numbers themselves will decide it's time to go back, but will the Iraqi government be ready for that? That's what we have to prepare for I think," Foley said.

The United States spent over $318 million in humanitarian aid for Iraqi refugees this year, Foley said. Washington sought support from other donors, "particularly in the region, not to mention, the government of Iraq itself."

Foley said he was grateful that Syria, a country with which the United States has strained relations, had agreed to a new facility for refugee processing, which would enable Washington to handle larger numbers of refugees.

What is this country coming to??

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What do you mean?

What is this country coming too? We are admitting people from a war torn country that doesn't accept them.

This is there best chance of a normal and productive life, not to mention one in which they don't fear being killed for being different. This is what being an American is all about. This is the reason we have the diverse population we have today!

Taking in others and being a "good neighbor" is what makes me proud to live here. Xenophobia and paranoia have only managed to trigger bigger problems.

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What do you mean?

What is this country coming too? We are admitting people from a war torn country that doesn't accept them.

This is there best chance of a normal and productive life, not to mention one in which they don't fear being killed for being different. This is what being an American is all about. This is the reason we have the diverse population we have today!

Taking in others and being a "good neighbor" is what makes me proud to live here. Xenophobia and paranoia have only managed to trigger bigger problems.

It can be frustrating that we "let" "them" in. But Troy Mclure hit the nail on the head. This is America. This is what we have, are, and always will be. I say give em' a chance. Love it, or Leave it. crazy

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Bid2 this may be the first time I can honestly say I 100% agree with you. If there a reason we should not except there refuges I would like to hear it? All I can see is good coming from this. Some of these people will end up going back "home" with a good understanding of what America is about, personal freedom and the opportunity to improve your lot in life through freedom and hard work. I have traveled the middle east and deal in business with people every day and I can say 100% of the people I have meet and work with do not see the USA as the evil empire that the media would have you believe. They see America as the land of opportunity, something that to many of us have seem to have forgotten.

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Bid2 this may be the first time I can honestly say I 100% agree with you. If there a reason we should not except there refuges I would like to hear it? All I can see is good coming from this. Some of these people will end up going back "home" with a good understanding of what America is about, personal freedom and the opportunity to improve your lot in life through freedom and hard work. I have traveled the middle east and deal in business with people every day and I can say 100% of the people I have meet and work with do not see the USA as the evil empire that the media would have you believe. They see America as the land of opportunity, something that to many of us have seem to have forgotten.

BOOYA

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I don't have a problem if peole come to the US and live and PAY TAXES like the 95% of the citizens do..... I don't want to work 50 - 60 hours a week to support somebody that comes here and hates americans and lives off the govn.... Sorry its just my opinion....... I could go more into this but it might turn ugly....

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I don't have a problem if peole come to the US and live and PAY TAXES like the 95% of the citizens do..... I don't want to work 50 - 60 hours a week to support somebody that comes here and hates americans and lives off the govn.... Sorry its just my opinion....... I could go more into this but it might turn ugly....

With all do respect. Negativity on this subject gets us nowhere. I think if "we"(I know thats very broad) are going to take part in turning their country upside down. We should allow them a chance at prosperity.

The hmong(sp) and laotion(sp) communitys, and MANY OTHERS, have contributed alot to our great country. Lets just see what happens. Every now and then things arent as bleak as they seam. And that comes from a TRUE pessimist.

Of course I could be wrong laugh ha!

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Originally Posted By: The_King48
I don't have a problem if peole come to the US and live and PAY TAXES like the 95% of the citizens do..... I don't want to work 50 - 60 hours a week to support somebody that comes here and hates americans and lives off the govn.... Sorry its just my opinion....... I could go more into this but it might turn ugly....

I agree, but using predispositions won't solve anything....I know what you are saying and feel the same way, but I say let's see what happens once they are here

With all do respect. Negativity on this subject gets us nowhere. I think if "we"(I know thats very broad) are going to take part in turning their country upside down. We should allow them a chance at prosperity.

The hmong(sp) and laotion(sp) communitys, and MANY OTHERS, have contributed alot to our great country. Lets just see what happens. Every now and then things arent as bleak as they seam. And that comes from a TRUE pessimist.

Of course I could be wrong laugh ha!

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This isn't a racial issue, or an issue of why are we bringing the "enemy" here. This should be an issue of simple affordability. How long can this country go, with it's unfathomable deficit, afford to bring more people here. The numbers quoted on the first post re Iraqi's coming here are really low in the big scope of things. It won't even be noticeable. But with the money going out...is it no wonder our economy is struggling? I don't have all the answers, or maybe I don't have any answers. Bottom line, when is enough going to be enough?

I don't care who lives next to me, just as long as the money I bust my hump for pays for me and my family. Just trying to be realistic.

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I think alot of people forget how we all got here in the first place. This country was built by immigration. I would venture a guess that about 99% of us on this forum are only a few generations removed from a relative who came to this country to find oppurtunity, I'm 4th generation myself.

Those people out there that hate immigration are only hating the thing that gave them the ability to live in this country. The rights our grandfathers and great grandfathers were affored should not be denied to others.

I think we all just need to remember that without immigration most of us would not be here and this country would not exist. Believe it or not immigration is as American as baseball and apple pie.

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prov, I hate to tell you this, but "bringing more people here" is precisely what drives the U.S. economy.

Take a look at Japan. Their economy has been stagnant, or close to it, for almost 20 years. Why? There's a lot of reasons, but one of them is the miniscule birthrate & the fact that Japan is historically very closed to immigration. They are very afraid of negative population growth hurting national economic growth.

A lot of people who come here (warning, generalization coming!) are those that are most willing to bust their behinds to get ahead, because they had nothing to begin with, & all they see is the limitless horizon the U.S. offers.

Not only that, the contribution to the deficit by those sitting on their rumps is pretty doggone small when compared to other kinds of spending (Medicare, Social Security, Defense, etc.).

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I don't mind people coming here in search of a better life, that is America. Do it legally and all is good. Come here and contribute and no one should have issues. If you come looking for handouts, that's where I have the problem. I'm not saying they are, but others have. I don't care where they are from, aren't we all just people trying to make our way in the world?

Bid, it's scary, that's the first post I agree with you on.

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What we are thinking is that the quotation on the statue of Liberty is still what gives hope to millions of people living in situations we will never be able to comprehend...

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

And its the same reason 99.9999% of us are living here today.

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What we are thinking is that the quotation on the statue of Liberty is still what gives hope to millions of people living in situations we will never be able to comprehend...

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

And its the same reason 99.9999% of us are living here today.

Perfectly said.

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I don't mind people coming here in search of a better life, that is America. Do it legally and all is good. Come here and contribute and no one should have issues. If you come looking for handouts, that's where I have the problem. I'm not saying they are, but others have. I don't care where they are from, aren't we all just people trying to make our way in the world?

Bid, it's scary, that's the first post I agree with you on.

I agree with this sandmannd. Although some of the time people dont come looking for handouts, we just give them to them.

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There were thousands of wealthy Iraqis living in Iraq before the war. Mainly Sunni's.

Not all the refugees coming here are in need of help.

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Quote:
Although some of the time people dont come looking for handouts, we just give them to them.

We make it too easy. I am not saying don't help those that really need it, but make it difficult enough that they would rather work for it rather than live off of the system.

You take care of people for too long and they have no idea of how to take care of themselves. We need to stop that.

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We make it too easy. I am not saying don't help those that really need it, but make it difficult enough that they would rather work for it rather than live off of the system.

You take care of people for too long and they have no idea of how to take care of themselves. We need to stop that.

I went to college with an individual like this. All his schooling was paid for. He never worked. Brilliant kid though. Graduated and then couldnt keep a job because he couldnt handle having to work for a living. He is now back living at home with an engineering degree living off his parents.

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I hope the Federal Administration realizes that these are some of the impacts that cause the unemployment rate to rise. Where are these people going to work, buy a house, etc.,. or will we subsidize them also?

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What we are thinking is that the quotation on the statue of Liberty is still what gives hope to millions of people living in situations we will never be able to comprehend...

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

And its the same reason 99.9999% of us are living here today.

Fishermn, thats exactly it. That passage was there at the Seattle airport where I entered the States, and it was one of the first "things" I had to memorize when my aunt taught me English. When it comes to affordiblity, I don't see a problem. The problem is whos footing the bill and it comes down to...it's the middle and poor working class but that doesn't mean it doesn't pay off. My dad recieved grants from MN for his business, and it's been in business for 15 years.

This is the land of oppurtunity, thats the impression that I got when I went back to China these past 2 years. USA has definetly given my family great oppurtunties to pursue our pursuit of happiness.

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Loos15, what you and your family have done is what this great country has intended for imagrants to be a part of. Your family came looking for a new life and worked their tail off to get ahead. You continue to work by going to school and working a full time job. To me, that is the great thing with this country and I would have no problem supporting those that just help getting that lift. There are thsoe that take advantage of the system and unfortunatly, those are the ones we all see. But I do like to believe there are more out there like your family who take opertunity and achieve being a great addition to the US. It isn't just imigrants, it's some that are born here that are freeloaders. I don't care for any of the freeloaders. But you put the effort forth and need a hand from time to time, I'm fine with that.

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Well said Sandman and thanks. Unfortuntely, I sense that around the country people think all immigrants are freeloaders. The word immigrant itself is starting to have negative intonation. I might be generalizing too much and hope I'm wrong. As you know, I also dislike freeloader. I complain about one everytime I fish with ya..hehe (not implying Sandman is the culprit)

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Originally Posted By: fishermn
What we are thinking is that the quotation on the statue of Liberty is still what gives hope to millions of people living in situations we will never be able to comprehend...

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

And its the same reason 99.9999% of us are living here today.

Perfectly said.

Unfortunately, wasn't it a statement imprinted by France and not us? Not saying I disagree but if we didn't actually place that statement on there but France did, then we are trying too hard to live up to an ideal that is not of our own choosing.

Bob

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Those lines comes from the poem "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, American poet.

The statue although a gift from France, was assembled in the US.

But really, what is "our ideals". As a collective, we seldom agree on ideals except for lines like "all men are created equal", or "under god and justice for all". Even in them, they mean different things to different people. But these ideals are so centeral to American soceity that we have put young men and women in the line of fire and death to protect them. With that, I can't say the country is trying too hard, but not hard enough to be fair to our troops.

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