Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

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Center for Migration and Refugee Studies

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Research Article

Publication Title

Cairo Studies on Migration and Refugees

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This study will document the experiences of Iraqi refugees resettled in a small Upstate, N.Y. city in order to examine resettlement and integration outcomes regarding this population. Research regarding Iraqi refugees and their resettlement before and after the 2003 US-led invasion are few, and therefore this case study will contribute to the literature on Iraqi refugees after resettlement. This study will find that previous theories of integration are inadequate to fully explain the integration of Iraqi refugees as these theories do not take into account: 1) pre-arrival/home related factors; 2) post-arrival/host related factors; and 3) individual motives and intentions of the refugee. These three factors regarding Iraqi refugee resettlement and integration will be evaluated. Host related factors will include: social services; employment; adjustment; and future plans. Home related factors will include: the effects of war; Saddam Hussein’s ‘Republic of Fear’ and the effects on the Iraqi people; the American involvement in Iraq; and Iraqi displacement. Individual refugee motivations and intentions will also be highlighted to show how these forces interact with the various pre- and post-arrival circumstances. This discussion will attempt to demonstrate how pre- and post-arrival factors as well as individual refugees’ decisions and motivations converge in various ways, thereby producing unique integration outcomes for the Iraqi community. It will also question the ability of the United States Refugee Admissions Program to effectively re-establish refugee lives in America.

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