Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Threatened Iraqis to Receive Visas

The U.S. is finally making good on its goal to admit more Iraqi refugees into the States. The NY Times reported that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad will issue ten times the number of visas for Iraqis who have received threats for working with the American government. Five thousand Iraqis will be admitted to the US for each of the next five years; a dramatic improvement from the 500 translators allowed to apply to the program in 2007.

As anthropologists are acutely aware, the challenge does not end once refugees arrive in the U.S. Many will have difficulty learning English, finding jobs, supporting their families, and adjusting to a new socio-cultural environment. Mechanisms need to be in place in order to help immigrants make this transition as smooth as possible.