I would like to commend Human Rights & Human Welfare for their recent roundtable on the Iraqi refugee crisis. The Roundtable rightly draws attention to the United States government’s woefully inadequate efforts thus far to address a major humanitarian crisis of its own making.

However, I do not agree with Professor Daniel Whelan’s assessment of “why Congress won’t act” on Iraqi resettlement. Dr. Whelan argues that the new Congress appears reluctant to resettle a reasonable number of Iraqi refugees in danger because Democrats fear that doing so would precipitate Iraqi state failure by means of “brain drain.” Instead, I would argue that Congress has been slow to act due to mitigating institutional and political factors.

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