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Is The United States The Best Country For Refugees?

What's the difference between a migrant, refugee, asylum seeker and what do we do powerful countries like the U.S. do to help these people?

Related on Seeker:
Do We Have The Right To Exclude Migrants?
Why Borders Are Crimes Against Geography

Each week on TestTubePlus, we pick one topic and cover it from multiple angles. This week's subject is immigration. Over the course of this series, we're going to dig super-deep into the idea of immigration and how it affects basically everything. So far, Trace has explored where the concept of citizenship came from. Today, he'll be discussing what the difference between migrants, refugees, and an asylum seekers is.

A migrant is a person who makes a conscious choice to leave their country, seeking a better life elsewhere. Before they decide to leave their country, migrants sometimes study the language, explore employment opportunities, plan their travel, take their belongings, say goodbye to the important people in their lives, and so on. The biggest distinction of a migrant is they are free to return home at any time.

On the other hand, refugees are forced to leave their country, usually at risk of persecution. They usually leave due to concerns of human rights and safety, not for economic advantage per se. They usually leave most or all of their belongings, family members, and friends. Some are forced to flee with no warning. Many have experienced significant trauma or been tortured or otherwise ill-treated. The path of travel is usually dangerous
May risk their lives in search of protection. An important distinction between migrants and refugees is they cannot return unless the situation that forced them to leave improves.

An asylum seeker is someone who has sought protection as a refugee, but whose claim for refugee status has not yet been assessed. Every refugee has at some point been an asylum seeker. Failure to become refugees may mean deportation, fines or imprisonment - depending on what country you are in. Asylum seekers who are found to be refugees are entitled to international protection and assistance.

Learn More:

US immigration legislation online
"This act helped those individuals who were victims of persecution by the Nazi government or who were fleeing persecution, and someone who could not go back to their country because of fear of persecution based on race, religion or political opinions. This act dealt directly with Germany, Austria, and Italy, the French sector of either Berlin or Vienna or the American or British Zone and a native of Czechoslovakia."

Citizenship (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
"A citizen is a member of a political community who enjoys the rights and assumes the duties of membership. This broad definition is discernible, with minor variations, in the works of contemporary authors as well as in the entry "citoyen" in Diderot's and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie."

Thomas Hobbes Biography (Biography.com)
"Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher in the 17th century, was best known for his book Leviathan (1651) and his political views on society."