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Gordon Duguid
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, Department of State
Daily Press Briefing

March 5, 2009


QUESTION: Do you have an update, perhaps, on Iraqi refugees asked about from yesterday? Specifically, what can the U.S. Government do to help them here in the U.S. who are facing fears of losing their homes and --

MR. DUGUID: Well, yes, I can tell you not what the government can do, but what the government is doing. Iraqi refugees receive the same resettlement benefits from the Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services that are provided to all incoming refugees. All refugees are able to receive from the Office of Refugee Resettlement social services for up to 60 months, that is, five years. These services include employment services, employment assessment services and on-the-job training, English language instruction, vocational training, case management, translation and interpreter services.

QUESTION: If they do decide to return to Iraq, what can the U.S. do to help facilitate their return to Iraq or their re-integration into Iraq?

MR. DUGUID: I think that has to happen on a case-by-case basis. The question is what happens when they come to the United States should someone choose to return to their own country. That becomes an Iraqi question.

QUESTION: I mean, if someone has, you know, faced a fear, you know, letters threatening their lives or their families and they did come to the U.S. because of that with the assistance of the State Department and now wants to go back --

MR. DUGUID: Im not in a position to adjudicate individual cases from the podium. I would refer you to the Department of Homeland Health and sorry, Health and Human Services to have a discussion on that.

Yes, and then David.

[ ... ]