Question: What's the difference between a refugee and an immigrant? Answer: An immigrant chooses to settle in a new country, usually for economic reasons, to make a better life for him or herself and family. The U.S. currently has about 11 million “undocumented” immigrants living and working here. A refugee is fleeing persecution, based on political views or ethnic affiliation. Individuals must document that their lives are endangered in the countries from which they fled. The U.S. limits refugees to 70,000 annually, with the largest numbers currently from Burma, Bhutan and Iraq.
Question: Can you name the ten countries currently sheltering the most refugees? Can you name even one? (I couldn't.)
Answer: According to a report by 24/7 Wall Street, using data gathered by the United Nations Refugee Agency, they are:
No. 10. China: primarily Vietnamese who fled there in the 1980s.
No. 9. Uganda: Those fleeing South Sudan’s civil war and the vicious militias in Democratic Republic of Congo.
No. 8. Chad: Most from Christian-Muslim fighting in Central African Republic.
No. 7. Kenya: Primarily from South Sudan and Somalia.
No. 6. Jordan: Mostly from Syria.
No. 5. Ethiopia: Mostly from South Sudan.
No. 4. Iran: Primarily from Afghanistan.
No. 3. Lebanon: Mostly Syrian. Lebanon's 232 refugees per 1,000 citizens is the highest ratio in world.
No. 2. Pakistan: Mostly Afghanis.
No. 1. Turkey: 1.2 million, mostly Syrians.
These 10 countries shelter well over half the world’s refugees, with Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon home to 30% of the total. Europeans worry about the impact of refugees on their cultures and infrastructures. Imagine the pressures on Chad, Uganda and Lebanon.