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Morality study: Iraqi refugees under American policies

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Political theorists' debate on the responsibility of countries to protect the victims of humanitarian crises.
    2. The United Nations High Commission on refugees states.
    3. A close inspection of U.S. immigration policies.
  2. The American mess and the status of Iraq today.
    1. The Iraq Body Count.
    2. Iraqis living in refugee camps.
  3. The Iraqi refugee situation.
  4. American policy response to the Iraqi crisis.
    1. Iraqis seeking entry into the country through traditional immigration channels.
    2. Segment of the Iraqi population that has no problems entering the United States.
    3. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America.
    4. America's failure to address the dire refugee situation.
  5. Vietnam: A different response.
  6. The security challenges posed by immigration policy.
  7. Is the United State morally responsible for Iraqi refugees?
  8. Conclusion.

Political theorists have debated for centuries the responsibility of countries to protect the victims of humanitarian crises. Sine the earliest days of international law, Grotius, Kant and Vattel have attempted to strike a balance between realist interests and the duty to help those most in need: refugees. All three philosophers decided that countries faced with refugees on their borders have the moral obligation to help them because states control the good most intrinsic to the refugees' survival: a secure territory free of persecution. Centuries later, their thoughts were legalized through the 1951 Convention on Refugees. There, the United Nations declared that it was the moral responsibility for Nations to offer refuge for those forced out of their homelands, regardless of their involvement in the matter. Culpability was not considered a requisite to act, but simply having the power to aid the plight of innocents. The United Nations High Commission on Refugees states that in 2008 there are 9 million displaced persons in the world, driven into exile by violence in their home countries. Depending on geographical proximity to the crisis, nations have shouldered varying degrees of the burden.

[...] Why have American policies towards Iraqis been so lackluster that they have the opposite effect of those instituted during Vietnam: instead of offering a safe harbor, devising ways to keep them out? Part The Security Challenges Posed by Immigration Policy In the minds of Americans, the Iraqi War has changed the very nature of war. The War on Terror unofficially began on 9/11, with legal Muslim immigrants crashing a civilian plane into the World Trade Center. With that simple act, suddenly a nation of immigrants saw danger lurking in the prospect of every person seeking entry into the United States. [...]

[...] Refugee camps were not deemed adequate in dealing with the crisis laid down in Vietnam, and the same perils exist for Iraqi refugees today. Hugo Grotius acknowledged that Nation-states had a responsibility towards refugees, but put a contingency on resettlement: A permanent residence out not to be denied to foreigners who, expelled from their homes, are seeking a refuge, provided that they submit themselves to the established government and observe any regulations which are necessary to avoid strife.[20] Grotius states unequivocally that the refugee and the host country have a responsibility to each other, the state, to open its doors, and the refugee, to respects the laws and society of their host country. [...]

[...] The United States is still at war with forces within Iraq, so the heightened security that Iraqi have met throughout the American immigration process is not surprising from a national security stand point. The War on Terror is holds unique challenges to America. Unlike traditional soldiers, terrorists are near impossible to spot. They blend in seamlessly with other civilians. They present unique challenges to American immigration officials. Sifting through the thousands of Iraqis seeking entry into this country, attempting to determine the intentions and innocence of each immigrant is an almost insurmountable task. [...]

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