As many as 50,000 Iraqis may be fleeing their homes each month in a bid to escape the violence that's tearing the country apart. But less than one percent would be welcome in the United States under its current quota system.
The tiny allowance for Iraqi refugees - just 500 for 2007 - has sparked criticism from humanitarian groups, according to the New York Times (NYT) and Britain's Guardian newspaper.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates there are some 3.1 million displaced Iraqis, with around half still in the country. Most of those who've left are in Jordan and Syria.
The Washington-based U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, a campaigning and resettlement organisation, isn't optimistic the U.S. intake will increase. The NYT quotes its president, Lavinia Limon: "I don't know of anyone inside the administration who sees this as a priority area... If you think you're winning, you think they're going to go back soon." Read on...
By Nicole Belle — January 5, 2007