War, communal conflict, and persecution based on religious, ethnic, or political affiliation are the primary reasons that over 10 million people are considered to be refugees by the United Nations. According to both United Nations protocols and US immigration laws, the generally accepted definition of a “refugee” is a person who has fled across international borders because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted “for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.” The UN Refugee Protocol of 1951 mandates the global community to give protection for those with a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home country. Nevertheless, despite clear protections promised by widely accepted international law, refugees are frequently subjected to the vagaries of political self-interest. The reason for this is that refugees are an indicator that a state allows, either intentionally or unwillingly, the persecution of part of its...
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