If you haven’t read him, you should


refugees from palestine
 
According to the American Immigration Council: 
 
A refugee, as defined by Section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national origin. This definition is based on the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols relating to the Status of Refugees, which the United States became a party to in 1968. Following the Vietnam War and the country’s experience resettling Indochinese refugees, Congress passed the Refugee Act of 1980, which incorporated the Convention’s definition into U.S. law and provides the legal basis for today’s U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).
 
A person who meets the definition of a refugee, but who applies for this status from within the United States—either when they are seeking admission at a port of entry or after they have already entered the country in a different status or without status—is an asylee.
 
Whether we like it or not, people have the right to seek asylum in America just as an American overseas has the right to request asylum in Britain, Australia, Spain or any other country because that  is the agreement we all signed.

 
There’s no guarantee that we’ll get it and nor should there be because everybody’s case is so different and a country has the sovereign right to protect its borders. A country also has the right to choose whom it allows to stay based on the laws enacted by their own government. What a country cannot do is to refuse to accept the initial application for asylum.

That is the law, international law that as I said, we agreed to. It is the same law that protects our embassies in foreign countries, our military personnel, our diplomats, and our everyday citizens who travel to other countries on an American passport.

Can you imagine the chaos if a country could pick and choose which passport they will recognize as legitimate today based on domestic political considerations? The document must be all that matters and the nationality of the passport holder must be irrelevant or there would be uncertainty and chaos at the airport gates. International tourism and business travel would grind to a halt and the modern world as we know would change for the worse.

The same laws and the same indifference to race, by necessity, also protect asylum seekers. We can’t accept an application for asylum from an African man but refuse to accept the same petition from a Honduran woman. We can always lobby our politicians to withdraw us from international agreements and change the way we do things in the future but in the meantime, we must respect and abide by the law. That’s what makes us a civilized society.

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