For those living in a country such as the United States, the idea that you might have to leave your homeland and flee to another country for safety is hard to comprehend. But this occurs on a daily basis, and many men, women and children are arriving in the United States having fled their own countries. But what are some of the reasons people need to look for sanctuary elsewhere?
According to the good folk at immigration law firm Graham Adair, people often leave their home country to escape persecution. For example, in some countries, identifying as anything other than heterosexual is a crime, and in some of these, same sex acts are punishable by death.
Some are fleeing to escape violence and war, while others are facing hunger or extreme poverty in their own country. However, not all people who leave their home country are fleeing danger or persecution. Some are seeking a better life for themselves and their families and want to find work or education.
What is the Difference Between Refugee, Asylum Seeker, and Migrant?
People often refer to those who arrive in the United States from other countries as ‘refugees’, ‘asylum seekers’, or migrants. But there is a difference, particularly in legal terms.
A refugee is a person who has fled their homeland because of a fear of persecution and violations to their human rights. They may have felt they had no choice but to leave their own country and seek safety elsewhere. All refugees have the right to protection internationally.
Asylum seekers are those who are seeking refugee status and who have left their home country because their human rights were being violated and they were in fear of persecution. The difference between a refugee and an asylum seeker is that the status as a refugee has not been decided yet.
A migrant is the term given to those who have left their own country but are not classed as asylum seekers or refugees. A migrant may have left their homeland in order to study, work, or be with other family members in a different country.
What are the Problems Facing People Entering the United States
People who enter the United States as refugees, asylum seekers, or migrants often face a number of challenges. The first is probably an inability to communicate with officials as well as other citizens. Most people in the United States speak English as their first language, and many do not have another language at all. This can make it hard for those entering from other countries in terms of completing forms, getting work, or making friends. Children who do not speak English can find school a problem, and until they learn the language they may fall behind.
Unfortunately, many foreigners seeking work in the United States will be forced to take very low paid jobs, regardless of their qualifications and ability, especially if they cannot speak the language. Many employers prefer to hire those with experience in the U.S. and will not even interview those without it. This means that some foreign workers with skills and qualifications and the ability to communicate in English may still find it hard to secure a good job.
There are many reasons why people leave their homeland and come to places like the United States. It may be that they are fleeing war or violence in their home country, or it could be that they want to have a better life. Whatever the reason, moving to a new country where you do not speak the language can be extremely challenging.