Crocker Blasts Refugee Process
Iraqis Could Wait 2 Years for Entry, Ambassador Says
By Spencer S. Hsu and Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 17, 2007; A01
The U.S. ambassador to Iraq warned that it may take the U.S. government as long as two years to process and admit nearly 10,000 Iraqi refugees referred by the United Nations for resettlement to the United States, because of bureaucratic bottlenecks.
In a bluntly worded State Department cable titled “Iraqi Refugee Processing: Can We Speed It Up?” Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker noted that the Department of Homeland Security had only a handful of officers in Jordan to vet the refugees.
. . . Each DHS case officer in Jordan can interview only four cases a day on average because of the in-depth questioning required, and just a handful of officers were in the region, partly because Syria refuses to issue visas to DHS personnel, Crocker said. “It would take this team alone almost two years to complete” interviews on 10,000 U.N. referrals, he estimated. . .
Have they entirely closed down the Green Zone, so that we have to rely on Syria for visas? Crocker certainly doesn’t have much pull.
Mike has too many of his 220,000 employees playing Musical Chairs with house trailers to spare any for something as ‘back burner’ as Iraqi refugees.
With a Patriot Act barrier at every stop along the paper-trail, Mike will be long-gone before this is over.
That can’t possibly happen too soon for this writer.