New U.S. Security Checks for Iraqis Seeking Asylum

A new system of security checks for Iraqi refugees who want to settle in the United States was rolled out by the Department of Homeland Security this week. The government hopes the procedures will help it meet a pledge to take in 7,000 refugees from Iraq by Sept. 30. So far, only a fraction of that number have made it into the United States.

The Iraq war has created the worst refugee crisis in the Middle East in more than 50 years, with some 2 million Iraqi refugees living in Jordan and Syria, and another 2 million internally displaced Iraqis.

The Bush administration said last year that it would resettle what the government describes as the most vulnerable Iraqis.

NPR's John Ydstie talks to Bill Frelick of Human Rights Watch about the Bush administration's policy on Iraqi refugees.

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