WASHINGTON – The Bush administration says it has surpassed its goal of allowing 12,000 Iraqi refugees into the United States during the current budget year after streamlining the admissions process.
Officials said Friday that with half a month to go before hitting the Sept. 30 deadline, 12,118 Iraqi refugees had arrived in the country since last October and more are on the way. The administration has been criticized for not doing enough to help Iraqis who have fled their country, and last year pledged to improve its record.
The departments of state and homeland security say they are working to boost the minimum goal for the next budget year, which begins on Oct. 1. But they say the amount of the increase will depend largely on developments in Iraq and neighboring countries where most of the more than two million Iraqi refugees seek shelter.