In our earlier post this morning, we reported that the US State Department is going to begin bringing in Syrians (at the UN’s direction) on par with what we have done for Iraqis. That reminded me that I wanted to pull together the Iraqi resettlement data.
We are on our way, as this fiscal year ends in a few weeks, to 115,000 Iraqis admitted to the US since 9/11. Approximately 62% are Muslims (71,300). How do we know?
Recently a reader sent me some numbers for Iraqi refugees from a data base kept by the US State Department that only select people have access to. It was the data base of religions refugees bring to America. Our reader said that of 111,854 Iraqis admitted since 2003, 42,137 are Christians. (38%). I don’t have access to the religion data, but I did want to check the total numbers for myself.
I don’t come up with 111,854 (I get 111,731, but it’s close and we could easily reach 115,000 by the end of the fiscal year). This information below comes from data tables at the end of Annual Reports to Congress, here.
Iraqi refugees who were ultimately convicted on terrorism charges were arrested in KY and caused a dip in the numbers for 2011.
From 1983-2002: we resettled 41,549 Iraqis
From fiscal year 2003 to August 31, 2014:
2008: 13,775 (this was a George Bush year)
2011: 9,388 (Assume this dip is because of the Iraqi terrorists arrested in KY which resulted in a federal freak-out and a re-do on the security screening of Iraqis).
2014 (11 months of the fiscal year): 17,771
Bottom line is that we are approaching 115,000 Iraqis admitted to the US in the last 12 years (the State Dept. and contractors will make a big push this month to hit their targets and so I am guessing they will reach 115,000).
How are they doing?
See the special section on Iraqi refugees in the 2012 ORR Annual Report to Congress (the most recent data available) beginning on page 110.
Not so hot!
~The overall US unemployment rate that year was 7.6%, the Iraqi unemployment rate was 22.6% (but up from 40% or so in some previous years).
~Of those not looking for work, 33.6% had poor health or disabilities.
~The average hourly wage for Iraqis who were working was $9.79 per hour.
~ORR says that the goal is self-sufficiency in 3 months, but only 21% got their first job in 6 months and welfare continued.
~60% were on Medicaid or Refugee Medical Assistance.
~82% were receiving food stamps.
~58% were receiving some sort of cash assistance.
~36% were getting SSI (Supplemental Security Income).
The report tries to put a happy face on it, but the numbers are abysmal!
Sure looks like we are importing poverty and you can expect the Syrians to be in the same situation when they begin arriving at rates comparable to the Iraqis—from 10,000-20,000 a year!
For ambitious readers, our Iraqi refugee category has 628 previous posts in it.
Update: About the photo. The photo we placed in this post this morning disappeared. This is not the first time, that has happened with the official photo of this pair. Let’s see what happens with this one.