How to answer the question: What’s the difference between a refugee and an immigrant?
Posted On June 19, 2021
It’s a question that gets asked all the time, and it’s often an accurate one.
“Immigrants are people who come to the U.S. as refugees,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Jose Perez told the Associated Press last year.
“Refugees are people that are brought here by the government and brought into the country as refugees.”
But what is an immigrant, and what does the term mean?
For now, at least, the answer is unclear.
So it’s worth asking the question, as it does not seem to be one that will go away any time soon.
To begin, let’s go back to when President Trump first announced the DACA program, the federal program that grants a path to citizenship to immigrants who entered the country before January 1, 2021.
Trump’s announcement had a few things in common with the DACA plan itself:It was announced at a time when it seemed to be on the verge of collapse, and the public seemed to have a lot of questions about how it would work.
That changed when Trump announced DACA in September.
The program was put into effect in November.
And in the months since, it has helped hundreds of thousands of people who came to the United States as children become citizens.
The big difference between the two programs is that DACA does not grant citizenship.
It grants work permits, but they are temporary and only valid for three years.
DACA does, however, grant work permits that can be renewed for up to a year.
The biggest difference is that while DACA was set up as a temporary program, Trump’s immigration order did not specify that DACA would be extended for five years.
It said that the program would expire after two years, which means that if DACA had been in effect during the early months of the Obama administration, the administration would have had to wait five years before it would be reauthorized.
That means that, at the very least, DACA is not a permanent solution.
And even if it had been, the idea of a “path to citizenship” is much different than a “refugee” program.
A “refuges” program gives a permanent pathway to citizenship for those who have already made a claim for protection from persecution in their home country.
The DACA program is meant to give a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship for the children of immigrants who have come to this country before their parents did.
DACA gives no such permanent pathway.
That said, DACA was not always so clear.
It was only a temporary immigration program during the Obama years.
Trump initially signed it into law in 2015.
But the DACA deal was later renegotiated.
And now that Trump is president, the program is likely to be renewed.