Definitions of refugee and asylee. Following World War II and in response to the large numbers of people fleeing Eastern Europe, the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, as amended by the 1967 Protocol.
Refugee: "A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.” (in Article 1.A.2) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is the United Nations program mandated to protect and support refugees. An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. http://www.unhcr.org/en-us
Asylee: Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who meet the definition of refugee and are already in the United States. An asylum-seeker is someone whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed. Until their case is processed, an asylee may not work and is not eligible for state or federal aid. The UNHCR estimates that every year, around one million people seek asylum. https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum
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