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Why the BBC calls them migrants, not refugees


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Do you think this is fair?  I'm not sure I do, given that in Jordan they're living in cardboard, and last winter in Greece heating oil was so expensive families were pulling lumber out of walls to keep warm.  Winter is coming (not that I intended the reference to GoT).  Going to a place with more economic stability just seems wise.


The number of men moving without women, though, I do find troubling.

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To me, from my US POV that's like saying that if you land at Ellis Island, you can't leave New York, or that if you come from Cuba you need to stay in South Florida.


Admittedly, a lot of people did exactly that, but requiring it seems like it puts an unfair burden on the state (or in the EU,country ) to get to, when there may be better opportunities in, say, Nebraska or Wyoming (to name two states that probably don't get much direct immigration). And especially given the economic state Greece is in, I don't think they can easily shelter and support refugees right now.

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I understand their legal point, but I don't agree with legal determinations that say that someone isn't a refugee anymore if they don't want to stay in the first country they got to. I also don't think that the countries surrounding Syria can handle the refugees on their own so people need to have the option to leave.


I have met refugees from a lot of different places in different countries. Of course refugees want to be resettled in countries where there are more economic opportunities. Who wouldn't? The Afghan refugee family I met in Kyrgyzstan was disappointed that they hadn't been sent to Europe, and who can blame them? They were glad to be out of Afghanistan and it was nice to be in a country that wasn't entirely foreign, but financial motives can influence a refugee's decisions and I don't think that should negate their refugee status.


I think a significant reason why so many men are going to Europe without their families is because of the inherent danger in the trip. We've seen plenty of evidence recently that it's probably a good idea to send one family member first rather than taking everyone at the same time.

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You can be formally resettled elsewhere as a refugee if you can't return to your home country and the country you are currently living in can't take in everyone long-term. What you're not supposed to do is take the initiative to go somewhere else. You have to wait for the paperwork and the permission. That obviously can be problematic, especially when there are many refugees.


I think this crisis is showing that our current refugees laws aren't realistic when there are many refugees because they disproportionately burden countries that are accessible by land or sea. Refugees desperately try to avoid being registered in the first country they arrive in because they lose their ability to move around after they are documented. If other less-accessible countries agreed to resettle more refugees and to process the paperwork quickly, then I think the current system could work, but I don't think it's realistic to expect that.

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