In the migrants or refugees head-to-head, the word migrant has been – rightly or wrongly – gaining traction. So, what defines a refugee? Here’s the UN definition.
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.Definition and Meaning USA for UNHCR
Without a doubt, this definition leaves out anyone who leaves behind their country of origin for economic reasons. People who do, are therefore migrants.
The Double-Standard Approach to Migrants
Developed nations often take a double-standard approach to migrants. On one hand, non-nationals can live and work in often badly-paid positions, while on the other hand, they lack full access to services and benefits. During the refugee status application period, migrants or refugees are often housed in sheltered accommodation. This makes it difficult for them to integrate into the larger community, creating a wedge between nationals and non-nationals. Because they find it more difficult to access gainful employment, elements of the indigenous community begin to view these non-nationals as freeloaders. By the same token, if a migrant secures a good job, she or he is – to some people – stealing a job from a deserving national.
Ironically, the economies of most developed countries rely significantly on migrants.
Are Migrants Undeserving Freeloaders? Would You Pack up and Leave?
True, millions of people are migrants – not refugees. Does that make them undeserving?
Social Justice Poem – Migrants not Refugees
Call me migrant if you wish.I know, I understand. If you were
to call me a refugee, you'd have to look after me. So, here I am,
straight off the boat,paperless and blown ashore by nothing but
desperation and hope. My kid drowned during the crossing on
the captainless boat. Long gone were the merchants we bought
the hope of a better life from, handing over the life-savings of
our entire tribe. You're quite right, we are not fleeing war or
persecution or torture. Just trying to save ourselves from infested
drinking water, hopelessness, and a deadset lack of prospects.
You see, from afar, you have everything and - I must confess -
I want some of it. But no, I don't want your job, nor your house,
nor your money, nor your wife. Nor am I a crusader on a quest to
take your land. By the way, I've got a college degree but
would be happy to clean your house.