IRC Senior Policy Adviser Anna Husarska Testifies on Iraq Refugees Before Congressional Human Rights Caucus
The bipartisan Human Rights Caucus holds informational hearings and issues appeals on key human rights issues. The caucus is chaired by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Lantos is an IRC overseer.
Husarska recently toured the Middle East and interviewed scores of Iraqi refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. She described the tragic events, such as kidnappings and armed threats, that have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee Iraq as well as the terrible conditions many refugees live under in exile.
Another burning issue, Husarska said, is how to help those Iraqis who have worked for the U.S. and who are now in urgent need of being rescued. Husarska called on the U.S to urgently increase the number of Iraqi refugees to be resettled to the U.S. from the 7,000 currently called for. She also urged the lifting of the “material support” provisions of the Patriot Act that block entry of qualified Iraqi asylum seekers.
Representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the U.S. Committee for Refugees, and the U.S. Iraqi community also testified before the caucus.