He reports that the State Department and UNHCR are resistant to the recommendation that the Mandaeans be considered as a group for refugee status. So cases will still be handled on an individual by individual basis.
However, three positive steps have been achieved from his visit and lobby:
First, some of the most vulnerable cases will be considered immediately, those cases involving Mandaean women, children and victims of torture.
Second, the State Department is willing to consider some cases involving reuniting families with members already in the US. This will benefit a small number of Mandaeans, but it still is a step forward.
Third, some senators agreed to sign a joint letter to Dr. Rice about the Mandaeans.
Please, if you haven't already, I urge you to send letters to Washington. Click here to be taken to an earlier post with information on addresses and a template letter.