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Immigration Dictionary

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    efugee Approvals:
    Refugee approvals are the numeric quantity of these foreign nationals that are accepted for admission into the United States during a fiscal year. A refugee is traditionally any person who is not in his or her mother country, and who is afraid or unable to journey back to that country because they fear persecution for some reason, whether valid or not. This persecution has to be race or religion based. It can also have to do with the refugee's political opinion. The determination process for refugee approvals can take some time, which is one reason why the wait is so long. The Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States currently makes the decisions regarding refugee approvals. The President of the United States chooses an approval number for refugees each year after discussing the matter with members of Congress. [ more ]
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    efugee Arrivals:
    The refugee arrivals are those people who arrive in the United States from their home country. These people are often afraid and upset, as well as a bit overwhelmed at what they hear and see when they pass through a United States Port of Entry. The people who work at the ports of entry have had special training that enables them to deal with refuges and can usually calm them effectively. Refugee arrivals will have many questions that they seek answers for. One of the most common questions is how to extend a nonimmigrant stay in the United States for a foreign national. The answer to that question can be found on the refugee arrival's Form I-94W. Refugee arrivals who look to a nonimmigrant visa to see how long they can stay in this country will not find the answer they seek. [ more ]
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    efugee Convention:
    The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees governs the international rules and rights related to individuals granted refugee status and asylum. The Convention was originally approved at a special United Nations conference in July of 1951. The 1967 Protocol to the Convention provides an international definition for the definition of a refugee. According to the Protocol a refugee is an individual who due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside is country of origin. The definition of a refugee in U.S. law under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is aligned with the UN Convention. The agency within the UN that handles issues related to refugees under the Convention is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The UNHCR and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) work closely in identifying and referring refugee cases for review. The UNHCR also carries a mandate for protecting and providing humanitarian assistance to persons of concern who do not meet the criteria for the definition of refugee but fall under the category of internally displaced persons (IDPs). [ more ]
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    efugee Law:
    In the United States, in order for a foreign national to qualify as a refugee, he must prove that he meets the definition of the term refugee under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This definition of refugee mirrors the definition adopted in the Refugee Act of 1980 which defines a refugee as a person outside of his country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to his country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. In some cases, by way of Presidential Determination, some refugees may be processed while still living in their countries of origin. Under U.S. law, any person meeting this definition that has engaged in acts of persecution is not eligible for refugee status. The definition under U.S. law does not include all of the elements of the definition of the term refugee as defined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which may include individuals fleeing natural disasters and civil wars. Additionally, in the U.S. the definition of the term refugee excludes so-called "economic migrants" who are fleeing their countries of origin to seek out a more prosperous life. A refugee is distinguished from an asylum seeker in that an individual claiming asylum meets the refugee definition but is already present within the United States or claims asylum at a U.S. port of entry. [ more ]
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    efugee Status:
    In the United States, in order for an individual to meet the criteria for resettlement as a refugee, he must meet the definition of the term refugee and be admissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In order to meet the definition of the term refugee an individual must prove that he cannot return to his home country due to actual threat or well founded fear of persecution on the account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. To eligible to apply for resettlement under this definition the individual cannot have partaken in the persecution of other individuals, been resettled into another country or have an immediate relative who is a U.S. Citizen or special immigrant. The admissibility criteria is detailed under INA 212(a) and includes exclusions for admissibility for individuals who have serious health problems or criminal records. In order to be exempt from admissibility criteria, the potential refugee must be granted a waiver of inadmissibility. [ more ]
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    Aliens who are in the United States illegally can expect detention or removal by Federal law enforcement. The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, makes it a point to detain and remove any alien who they feel may have been admitted to this country via an oversight of some sort. Any alien who may pose either a national security or a public safety threat to others who are living in the United States will be dealt with in short order, provided the alien can be located. However, there are so many aliens at large that the ICE Office of Detention and Removal often is not able to ensure that all aliens will leave the country. 36% of all aliens in custody for the past three years were released due to needs for personnel, sleeping space, and funding problems. [ more ]
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