Migration Policy Institute Releases Comprehensive Data on Iraqis in the United States
Washington, DC (March 18, 2003) – With the Iraqi population receiving increased attention due to the impending conflict in Iraq, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the nation’s leading think tank dedicated to studying the movement of people worldwide, releases comprehensive data on Iraqis living in the United States in order to ensure that discussions around this topic remain accurate.
“The data show that nationwide, there are approximately 90,000 Iraqis living in the United States. These are Iraqis that were born in Iraq and who later migrated to the US. In all, the foreign-born Iraqi population accounts for less than 3 percent of all the foreign born in the US,” says Elizabeth Grieco, data manager for MPI’s Migration Information Source. “The population of those born in the US of Iraqi heritage is much larger.”
The data indicate that many Iraqis fled their country during the 1990’s. According to State Department data reported by Immigration and Refugee Services of America, 32,187 Iraqis entered the US as refugees between 1989 and 2002. Several thousand, in addition, have been granted refugee status after entering. Refugees are people who have fled their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, national origin, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
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The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank in Washington, DC dedicated to analysis of the movement of people worldwide. MPI provides analysis, development and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national and international levels. For more on MPI, please visit www.migrationpolicy.org.