There is a rift between the growing number of refugees and displaced persons in the world and the countries that are able to assist them. Refugees are in limbo, living in camps that are constructed along national borders and supported by international humanitarian aid. Host nations face economic uncertainty, and, because of national security threats, immigration restrictions are heightened.
Refugees are the victims of oppression and human rights abuses in their home countries. Their ways of life are typically threatened by their own governments or violent rebel groups. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, the majority of the world’s refugees emigrated from Southeast Asia and Africa and sought assistance from both neighboring countries and developed nations.
While fleeing from persecution, refugees often find themselves fighting through red tape to find stable places in which to relocate. Camps are constructed along borders of neighboring states, with refugees living day to day on humanitarian aid services. Some camps are intended as temporary refuge until political unrest and violence dissipates, allowing citizens to return to their homes. These camps often remain under threat from oppressors. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Janjaweed militiamen in the
With growing numbers of refugees seeking places to live during the early twenty-first century, the international community has struggled to find countries willing to take them. Border countries already feel the strain on their economy from border camps and illegal immigration. In the United States, national security concerns and a recession (beginning in late 2007) are major factors that limit the number of refugees admitted. Few applicants have family already in the United States, and their education and English-language skills are limited. Efforts are made to return refugees to their home countries when it is safe, but it is difficult to estimate how long refugees will remain in the United States or how many will seek permanent legal status once they have arrived.
The terrorist attacks on U.S. soil on September 11, 2001, led to stricter immigration standards, established in the
Lischer, Sarah Kenyon. Dangerous Sanctuaries: Refugee Camps, Civil War, and the Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2005. Martin, Susan F., et al. The Uprooted: Improving Humanitarian Responses to Forced Migration. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2005. Whittaker, David. Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the Contemporary World. New York: Routledge, 2006.
Economic consequences of immigration
Refugee Relief Act of 1953
Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy
Welfare and social services
World migration patterns