Let me say that I am glad to see that new readers arrive here daily, but long time readers, please accept my apologies for repeating information you already know.
Commenter ‘Kansasdudess‘ said this yesterday in a comment to my post on about Twin Falls, Idaho, here.
“id like to point out that in every country except the us refugees are not placed into actual communities..they are housed in refugee camps..geeze if they knew they were going to live in camps and not in sociey with full benefits they wouldnt come..who the hell decided they need to be placed in regular society???!!!! when did refugee status become perminant status? refugee means they go home too…”
First, here at RRW we are mostly focused on the present US Refugee Admissions Program established by law in 1980—The Refugee Act of 1980.
Briefly, refugees, as defined by the Act’, are people we have located abroad (mostly with the help of the UN now) who claim they would be persecuted if returned to their home countries—persecuted for their race, religion, political views and so forth.
We fly them to the US and through US State Department resettlement contractors (nine non-profits) we place them in hundreds of US towns and cities. They are here legally (permanently) and they are on a track to US citizenship.
You are not to be faulted for being confused about the word ‘refugee’ because the Leftists and No Borders activists around the world have done their best to make you think that anyone on the move around the world for any reason is a refugee deserving of special treatment. They are not. Most are economic migrants, some are getting away from civil wars at home, and some are criminals.
But, here the word refugee has a very specific meaning and is used for those who are legally here through the US Refugee Admissions Program.
As for Kansasdudess’s assertion that around the world “refugees” are in camps. Yes, in some places they are, but the vast majority of migrant asylum seekers (they are NOT legal refugees yet) are free in many countries until their asylum claim has been processed—think Germany, Italy, France, the UK etc. etc. There they live mostly in special housing and are free to move about in the community. (There is increasingly more talk in Europe about building detention centers.)
Asylum seekers and Asylees
So what is asylum? That is when migrants of some sort go to another country on their own initiative and then ask for asylum claiming they will be persecuted in their home country if they are returned.
The asylum process is being abused around the world.
All of those Africans and Middle Easterners flooding Europe are not refugees. Some may be able to prove (through an asylum process) that they should get the first class treatment afforded legitimate refugees, but most are economic migrants looking for a better life. I repeat: they are NOT refugees until they are given asylum status.
Here in the US our immigration system is being scammed now as thousands cross our borders and ask for asylum. If they get through the asylum process and are judged to be legitimate refugees, we call them asylees. And, then, just like the refugees we flew in, they can stay and take advantage of the many benefits life in America will give them (including ultimately citizenship).
(I explained asylum here and here, just a few weeks ago!)
So in summary, the word ‘refugee’ used at this site refers to a class of LEGAL immigrant. They are flown here by our government. They are here to stay. They can work. They can get welfare. They will eventually become US citizens.
And, if an asylum seeker can make his or her case through a legal process, then that person can say they are a refugee as well.