Iraq was once ruled by Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party. This dictatorship led to many deaths and violence amongst the Iraqi people as Hussein was ruthless in leading his country. When Hussein was forced to flee Iraq following the war with the United States of America, the number of Iraqi refugees increased.
When the United States invaded Iraq, many Iraqi refugees sought refuge in nearby Syria and Jordan, two countries that are also considered to be deadly. Despite more political freedom, Iraqi refugees still fear for their lives. The number of Iraqi refugees continues to grow despite current plans by the United Nations to arrange for the safe return of the millions of Iraqi refugees who have fled.
Iraq has a history of having a large number of refugees: the last century has seen a large number of Iraqi refugees flee their homes. Despite the good intentions, the Iraqi refugees feel that the United Nations is not being realistic with plans for their safety. During times of war the number of Iraqi refugees greatly increases. Iraq has a history of conflicts with both neighboring and distant countries.
Due to the fact that Iraq is still considered to be one the most dangerous countries in the world, it has a large number of refugees, usually of the political or religious nature. This is due to the excessive amount of war that the country has seen.
It is only within the last decade that brutal dictator Saddam Hussein had to give up the throne and flee the country. Although the situation in Iraq has been of a calmer nature as of late, refugees who fled the country in record numbers during 2007 are fearful of returning to Iraq. Like many refugees who flee one bad area only to end up in another that is only slightly better, many Iraqi refugees found themselves in Jordan and Syria, two countries that are also known for extreme violence.
The mass exodus of millions of Iraqi refugees in 2007 has been called the Iraq refugee crisis. Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have begun to demand an increase in funding to help these Iraqi refugees come to the United States. The large number of Iraqis who chose to flee and become refugees was actually predicted to happen immediately after the start of the Iraq war. Instead, the delayed reaction of the Iraqi people continues to harm the entire country. The Iraqi refugees have no access to health care of educational programs, especially when located in Syria or Jordan.
Implications on American Policy
Of all the countries in the world that are considered to be dangerous, Iraq is the one with one of the largest amounts of refugees. Iraq is considered to be a country with the worst displacement rate: over 4.1 million Iraqi refugees have fled since 2003. These groundbreaking numbers have not led to happiness amongst the Iraqi people. Although funds were set aside by the United States government to help settle Iraqi refugees into America, the reality has been much different and only about 450 Iraqis have been given access: nowhere near the 12,000 Iraqi refugees that are supposed to be allowed into the United States on a yearly basis.
This American policy is due to increased security measures on the part of the Department of Homeland Security. The American government has declared that it is not Syria or Jordan’s job to shoulder the full responsibility of sheltering the Iraqi refugees but politicians have still been unable to agree to a solution.