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To address this issue wholistically, and most effectively, we must clarify our premise for recognizing political refugees and purpose for doing so. We must also distinguish between the intent to grant political refugees temporary immigration status versus permanent immigration status. The growing international concern over the growing numbers of those seeking political refugee status, and the growing popular opposition to it, demands our consideration and scrutiny of this issue.

If the international consensus is that the political conditions of some countries are so life threatening to large numbers of that country's citizens, that all 'civilized' nations should be prepared to accept those endangered citizens as political refugees, why isn't the international community more prepared to confront and eliminate the danger to those citizens where it exists, and eliminate the need for those citizen's to run for their lives, instead of forcing them to stake their lives on the hospitality of others in foreign countries for an indefinite period of time? There would be financial cost to the citizen's of any nation assuming responsibility to accept and harbor political refugees, just as there would be if that nation participated in an international effort to eliminate the conditions creating political refugees and causing them to flee to other countries to save their own lives. If the international commitment to human rights entails that advanced nations of means should harbor political refugees in mass, should not the conditions creating such a humanitarian crisis be the litmus test for invoking international intervention to eliminate that humanitarian crisis?

Can this same litmus test be applied to refugee migration due to natural disasters? While it's true that a charitable response to a humanitarian crisis is indicative of how civilized others are, once an immediate threat to human life is abated, should international assistance be more directed to remedying the conditions causing a need for mass refugee migration, than to facilitating the mass migration for an indefinite period of time while leaving those remaining in the afflicted country to remedy the conditions creating the humanitarian crisis alone?

The time has long passed when what happens in one part of a country or the world only affects those in that part of a country or the world. Today, communicable diseases, usually increased by natural disasters and mass migrations, are spread as easily and quickly as the news. The stress on the human body caused by any humanitarian crisis increases the possibility of falling ill to disease. Humanitarian crisis such as these also cause a breakdown of civility, law, and order as desperation drive some to do anything simply to survive. Forcing mass migration due to lack of other options inevitably spreads disease and social disorder. As evidenced around the world, it also causes social upheaval and hostility among many in countries' hosting refugees. If the international community only suggests that other countries should be prepared to accept mass migrations for refugees without doing more, then it is suggesting that host countries should grant those refugees permanent immigrations status. If, however, the international intent is for host countries to temporarily host mass migrations of refugees, then isn't it incumbent upon the international community to help remedy the cause of mass refugee migration to resolve the social disorder in both, the afflicted country and the host country? I think so. All that remains to be decided is the scale upon which such a crisis and response to it are measured. However, an underlying imperative in that assessment should be to keep the afflicted refugees as close to home as safely possible, in my opinion

Government Abuses and Natural Disasters Create Refugees


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