Who is a refugee?
Refugee, IDP, asylee, TPS, immigrant - these are all unique terms that get muddled together frequently. First up, the actual definition of the term "refugee" as it pertains to US law, with commentary/exposition underneath.
- •A personNot a number. Not a statistic. Not a "wave." Not a "horde." An actual person.
- •Located outside of the USIf you're inside the and applying to stay, you're an asylum-seeker (or temporary protective status). Most definitions include "have crossed national borders," but some US-bound refugees can be located in their home countries (Iraqi Direct Access Program applicants, for example).
- •Is of special humanitarian concern to the USThe executive branch decides what special humanitarian concerns are yearly. Wars and natural disasters are the two main examples.
- •Demonstrates that they were persecuted or fear persecution due to race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social groupThese are pretty strictly defined
- •Is not firmly resettled in another country alreadyAlso strict on this.
- •Is admissible to the United StatesNO ONE who has ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
- •Source: USCISAnd personal experience