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I work at an educational institution in Canada that has a large English as a second language program for adult immigrants. During the 1990s there were significant numbers of students from Afghanistan and Iraq, the latter group including a significant number of Kurds. The number of new Kurdish arrivals decreased in the later 1990s. In the last couple of years (that is, since early 2002) the number of new arrivals from Afghanistan and Iraq has dropped to almost zero. In addition, many of the more advanced students from those countries, who had been living in Canada for several years, have also disappeared from the school. The consensus of opinion (relatively informed opinion, as we are in touch with many immigrant and refugee service organizations, and with remaining students of Arabic and Kurdish origin) is that they have returned to Afghanistan and Iraq. To the best of my knowledge, none of our multiculturalism-obsessed local media have reported on this story.

This is the kind of reporting that makes this site so important. What a reality check for Germans (& Canadians is see). Imagine how many resources this reduction in asylum seekers frees up. Maybe Germany will reconsider its stingy assistance to Iraq. I won't hold my breath.

Well, the numbers are facts, the rest is just assumptions and the same pre-occupied view like the left-wingers have (just from the other direction). May well be the people just don't get out of Iraq anymore, cause infrastructure is not yet rebuilt (the socialists might call it devastated), may also be the stay because now they've got hope things will improve. So the numbers simply don't prove the point:

"presumerably because these dummies don't realize their plight"

It's a bit like claiming after the Berlin wall was built people didn't like to leave East Germany anymore.

Any numbers on how many people actually returned to Iraq from Germany on their own free will? That would strongly prove a point.

I'm not objecting that the prospects of people in Iraq ARE better than with Sadam in power. But I strongly suggest we have no idea if people really feel like that, do we?

Nice graph, but I would like it to have data from a couple years prior to the war. The war had been on the horizon for all of 2002, and I would expect a spike of people seeking to leave the country before the war started. Then, once the war began, people would be unable to leave, and after the war the reason for leaving would be gone.

Without more data, we can't tell if the drop-off during and after the war represents a drop from a long pattern of high emigration, or whether it is the higher numbers in 2002 which are anomalous.

CJ's post above would seem to suggest that the drop-off in 2003 is the important bit on the graph, not the high numbers in 2002. More data would prove it.

Response from David: Ann, see my update to the posting.

>"May well be the people just don't get out of Iraq anymore, cause infrastructure is not yet rebuilt" - are you kidding? I hope you are kidding.

I'm just telling you there may be more than one reasons that people are not leaving Iraq and I'm giving you one possible reason.

>No, it's not a single bit "like claiming after the Berlin wall was built people didn't like to leave East Germany anymore".

Well there are not too many things in common. But there is one: the conclusion (people don't want to leave) is not very well funded. I's a quickshot coming from obsession rather than unpreoccupied analysis.

And here you come to an important difference (to my, I agree, wrong example):

>No one hinders Iraqis to leave their country for whatever destination.

This is completely true. All I claim is it may well be and is even likely that the situation (and not a person) makes it impossible to leave Iraq. Given the shortage of fuel (to give just one example) it's not unlikely that the number of people who WANT to leave Iraq is not very well reflected by the number of people who leave Iraq.

Again, if you want to prove a point do it properly. You seem to be driven by an idea (and I agree it's not a bad one) and then everything looks usefull to prove you're right, even if it isn't.

Again, the fact that the number of refugees from Iraq to Germany has fallen does not support any of the views I mentioned nor does it support your view. You weaken your point if you use weak supporting information for it. That's all I meant to tell you.

Have alook at this:

Now this report states long queues in December and a better situation in January (actually you will notice a slight rise of the refugees numbers in Januaray). As you see from the report the official gas stations supply (price 10-13 IQD) still goes to the black market (price around 100 IQD)
There is a problem converting Iraqi Dinars to USD.
Look at http://www.cpa-iraq.org/budget/IraqCurrencyExchange.html

So don't be confused by numbers you get on pages like this:

All I can tell you is that the black market price to get your tank filled (they don't count liters on the black market) is about $30. Also you should bear in mind that the situation is different throughout the country.

One more thing: your numbers refer to refugees from Iraq to Germany. So on top of the gas for their car or the money for a taxi, which they'd have to take cause there's no poor public transportation (to say the least), they'd still need a flight ticket to get to Germany. Now, given the income situation, the average Iraqi has no choice than staying. The ones who come are rather wealthy (may be the made their money on the black market for fuel).

Now low numbers of refugees may also reflect, that the number of people wealthy enough to leave is not growing very fast.

Again, I see a lot of progress in Iraq but I'm afraid the data you chose to support a certain point is simply not usefull for that purpose, because there are too many other possible factors leading to the result of low refugee numbers.

>Gee, it takes me more than 40 Euros to get my tank filled. Time to move to Iraq.

Yeah, so lucky people, no surprise they're not coming to Germany anymore. But on the other hand, they don't have Schröder and Merkel.

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