Projects: Mesopotamia, USA.
The 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by the U.S. and its allies killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, injured many more and devastated countless lives. Violence and sectarian strife have displaced 2 million Iraqis and caused 2 million more to flee the country. At the height of the exodus in 2008, five years after the invasion, the United States had only accepted a few hundred Iraqi refugees. The scale of the Iraqi refugee crisis forced the U.S. government to change its policies and begin facilitating the resettlement of Iraqi refugees who were threatened due to their association with the occupation. In the past five years, between 10,000 and 15,000 Iraqi refugees have been arriving in the United States annually to begin rebuilding their lives. They are arriving however during the worst economic crisis the U.S. has known in over 80 years. Benefits and assistance are short-lived and refugees soon find themselves competing for jobs and housing with millions of out-of-work Americans, compounding the many difficulties they face to overcome their past and adapt to American culture and way of life. Iraqis have suffered immeasurably and the United States has a certain moral obligation to assist those Iraqis who can no longer live safely in their country as a result of the American intervention.