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Refugees and Migrants - Essay Example

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Refugees and Migrants

It is the differences in leaving one’s country which makes a person labeled as a refugee, migrant, immigrant, asylum seeker, or a safe-haven seeker. But they all share one common fact. They are aliens in a foreign country and hold second class status to the people who were born in that state. We should start of first by understanding what is basically a refugee and a migrant. A refugee is defined as an individual who has forcefully been made to leave his home country due to a fear of being persecuted or feeling his life to be threatened. Refugees are often outcasts in their home country due to a difference in race, religion, nationality, or being part of a social group which is not accepted by the current government. But not all refugees are in such a state due to human influences. People escaping famines and pestilence are also included into the broad category of refugees (NCCA 2008). A migrant, however, is defined as a person who leaves his/her country in search of better jobs (Dictionary.com 2008). They leave their country using their own discretion without any influences such as coercion or force. This can clearly give a picture between the distinction between the two groups of people. While refugees are fleeing their country to save their own lives and lives of their families, migrants basically leave their countries to find work. The difference lies in the motivation for leaving their country.

Before basically delving into the argument as to why migrants and refugees should be handled differently we will try to see what arguments are placed for considering them as one and the same. Many sources, usually egalitarian in nature, argue that since both groups of people are displaced from their home countries they should be welcomed by any new society and provided support. A policy known as "non-refoulement" exists, an international policy, which aims at protecting the rights of refugees. According to this policy people who have become refugees and arrive at a new state are not to be returned back to their home states and should be openly welcomed. 140 states have signed the non-refoulement policy which makes them prime states for refugees to seek a new life in (Jose Riera).

But that is one of the only few valid arguments given by anyone. Because other than that, in reality a feature noted in most developed nations is that their laws, if at best not hostile towards refugees, are often biased to the nature of being cruel. For example, in an article by amnesty international's Australian edition it states how even though Australia has signed a number of treaties which enforce it to treat refugees well but in truth these refugees are detained in places where the Australian law is not valid hence these refugees cannot even demand non-refoulement since the policy is not valid in that area (Mark 2007).

The reason why we such instances in newspapers of people being detained and arrested when trying to cross the border into another country is that it is becoming more and more difficult for the host country's to manage the inflow of these immigrants/refugees. The sheer volume of the incoming people is a burden on most countries who now, not only have to meet the needs of their own citizens but must also take care of these new people who are not always productive factors for the country. The refugees require lodging, sustenance and shelter which are costs the host country must bear. Not only that, but finding new jobs and work opportunities for these new people is also a taxing job for the government. In recent years there is also a security risk in permitting foreign individuals with no proper documentation and records into ...Show more

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We should start of first by understanding what is basically a refugee and a migrant. A refugee is defined as an individual who has forcefully been made to leave his home country due to a fear of being persecuted or feeling his life to be threatened…
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