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Law that Protect Refugees in the United States - Essay Example

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The world today is different to any time in history. The movement of people – migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, victims of trafficking from one country to another is one area in which the laws and security of individual states face major challenges…
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Law that Protect Refugees in the United States
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"Law that Protect Refugees in the United States"

Download file to see previous pages Vast migration across the globe characterises the modern world. By 2000, 175 million people lived outside their place of birth: 158 million of these were urban migrants; 16 million were refugees and 900 000 were asylum seekers (Boyle, 2004). In 2005, the United Nations reported that there were more than 190 million international migrants, about 3% of the world’s population (UNHCR website, 2011). Since the current world population, 6 billion approximately, is too large to be compared to the population at any other time in history, unique problems exist. Countries no longer have complete control of their populations. Regional organizations, international non-governmental organizations or movements, multinational companies and even criminal organizations effectively are independent of state boundaries and often national laws (IR Theory Homepage, 2011). Religious, ethnic, cultural and even gender identities form international communities, not tied to single countries (Anderson, 2004). Refugees, fleeing their countries of birth due to war, famine, and oppression arrive in the USA, and in other mainly Western countries, every day, hoping to be protected by the democratic systems of these countries. International law clearly determines the rights and protection that must be given to refugees, who are forced to leave their country of birth (Akehurst, 1976). USA Federal law honors the right of asylum of people wanting to migrate to the USA, in line with the many international treaties and agreements which have been signed by the USA, following the rules of international law. About one-tenth of annual immigrants to the USA per year are refugees. Since 1980, more than two million refugees have settled in the USA (Human Rights USA website, 2011). According to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, adopted as a Protocol by the United Nations in 1967, a refugee is a person outside his/her country of nationality, who fears persecution if he/she returns to their home state. This persecution must be due to one or more conditions called “protected grounds” by the United Nations Protocol. So, a refugee is someone who is likely to be persecuted in a home country due to race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a social group, such as a religion. All countries that signed this agreement are required to give asylum to refugees, and the USA is a signatory of this agreement (The UNO, 1966). Within the USA, the Refugee Act of 1981 was passed by the USA Congress to expand the laws already agreed to in the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Human Rights USA website, 2011). Currently, the handling of refugees in the USA is the responsibility of the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security. Once the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees has indicated that refugee status is necessary, as defined in the paragraph above, USA authorities will most likely accept that status, and begin to process the individuals or groups as refugees. In the USA, the criteria include someone who is “unable or unwilling to return because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution” in their home country (CIS website, 2011). According to the UNHCR (website, 2011) about 8.4 million people worldwide could be classified as refugees. These refugees tend to originate in West Africa, Central Asia, South West Asia, North Africa and the Middle East. Within USA law, refugees must satisfy the same ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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