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U.S. Priorities Invite Skepticism

Published in: Washington Post

This letter to the editor was written by Bill Frelick and published in the Washington Post in response to US Assistant Secretary of State Ellen Sauerbrey's July 5, 2007, letter, "Two Refugee Flows That Aren't Alike," on Iraqi refugees.

Ms. Sauerbrey also said that the United States has funded 30 percent of the appeal for $60 million by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Not quite true. Of the $18 million Washington promised, the UNHCR has received only $12 million so far. Meanwhile, The Post reported that the United States is shelling out $592 million to build its embassy in Baghdad ["Construction Woes Add to Fear at Embassy," front page, July 5].

Ms. Sauerbrey said that we are "welcoming the persecuted and standing by our friends." Standing by seems to be the only thing the United States is doing as Iraqis continue to be forcibly displaced.

Bill Frelick
Refugee Policy Director
Human Rights Watch

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