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Refugees vs Illegal Immigrants

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by genuinemommy, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member Donor

    Why do we call them Refugees when they cross the border en masse to other countries, but when they come into the United States, we call them Illegal Immigrants?

    Why is this camp in Kenya called a refugee camp?
    (photo from this website: Kenya Draws Timeline For Closure of Dadaab Refugee Camp and Expatriation of Refugees )

    And this one in Texas is not?
    (from this website: Photos of Trump 'Tent Cities' for Unaccompanied Children - Some Separated from Parents Under Zero-Tolerance )

    Displaced peoples are moving across borders. They are going from economically depressed environments to those with economic opportunity. They are traveling as families. They are fleeing war and violence. Many of these refugees fled without any identification. They have no means to prove their citizenship. They may not even know what country they came from. They just fled. They were told by people along the way that they were going in the right direction. That peace was just on the other side of that fence. And they fled.

    How would our world be different if we switched the dialogue. If instead of "Illegals" Republicans started calling people "Refugees".

    Because that's what we're dealing with. Political refugees. Environmental refugees.

    Our world will only see more of these. Lots more. What are the lucky ones going to do?
  2. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    If it were only that simple.

    The difference between undocumented immigrants (illegals), asylum seekers and refugees is the process. and the status of the individual or family.

    Seeking entry into the US through the refugee resettlement program is based on "humanitarian" needs and interests and is he most security driven and time consuming. It starts in a UN/US refugee camp like those pictured. Refugees are generally from countries at war or the immediate aftermath with displaced persons. It generally requires sponsorship by a person or organization in the US and includes federal funding (limited) to assist the family making the transition.

    The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program – an Overview

    Seeking "asylum" is another way to enter the US. It requires physically appearing at the border, turning yourself in to authorities with a request for asylum based on fear for personal safety. Many immigrants from Central American attempt to enter the US this way either for political reasons (they are political enemies of the regime in their country and fear for their safety) or personal safety reasons (*to escape being caught in the middle of drug cartels and drug wars in their home country).

    Obtaining Asylum in the United States

    The issue is that many are really seeking economic "asylum " or simply an opportunity to improve their standard of living for themselves and their families and that is far less likely to be approved through this process. Whether it should be is a different matter.

    So the other option is to enter illegally in order to achieve that "economic" opportunity.

    And, there is the visa process - work, study, family, etc. sometimes leading to a green card and permanent residence and ultimately, citizenship.

    In fact, most illegals in the US do not cross the border illegally; they enter with a visa that allows limited time in the US and then overstay their visa.

    In other words, the system is a mess at many levels and needs comprehensive reform.

    What we are seeing instead is a comprehensive gutting of every aspect of immigration by the Trump administration - refugees, asylum seekers, visa holders all will be significantly reduced - because this was at the very heart of Trump's "faux populist" campaign and what a relatively small but active and vocal part of his base demand.

    The US is no longer the country that proudly proclaims "“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  3. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Large City, TX
    TRump wants
    the brightest & the whitest.

    The people who don't have a real need to become US citizens.
  4. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Foggy Bottom
    On the issue of immigration and the hateful, bigoted and intolerant Trump policies, states have about three more weeks to say publicly if they will/will not accept immigrants through the refugee resettlement program in 2020.

    Trump cut the maximum number of immigrants allowed through the refugee resettlement program to the lowest level in 40 years and then signed an Executive Order with the intent of allowing (Republican) governors to ban refugees even if cities and NGOs in the state volunteer to sponsor such refugees.

    To date, and to their credit, not one Republican governor is willing to publicly ban refugees; many Republican governors said they will accept refugees.

    GOP governors grapple with whether to accept refugees or not

    It is good to see that not all Republicans are driven by Trump's white nationalist agenda on the issue of immigration.

    Whether these Republican governors are driven by compassion, public policy considerations or fear of retribution by voters who by wide margins support refugee resettlement is not clear, but either way it is a slap in the face to Trump and his hardline haters.
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  5. Chris Noyb

    Chris Noyb Get in, buckle up, hang on, & don't criticize. Donor

    Large City, TX
    Texas, with our tough guy/badass governor Greg Abbott, was the first & only state to officially say no more refugees.

    I'd like to live in a blue state (but NOT CA).