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Taking Refuge Essay

1139 words - 5 pages

Taking Refuge
Works Cited Not Included

The difference between refugees and immigrants is significant. Refugees migrate for reasons of safety or civil rights from their own country. They are usually in danger of losing their life. Humanities basic rights and simple safety are at risk. Immigrants migrate because they choose to look for a better life. Many times immigrants are seeking economic opportunities not available in their country of origin. These migrants could be seen as economic refugees because they are often unable to feed their families and must immigrate for work opportunities. This is usually due to disruptions in local economies, not dissimilar to situations feared in refugee populations.

Refugees leave because of war, danger or the threat of imprisonment to themselves or their loved ones. They have no choice if they want to continue to live at all. “The term refuge is associated with some of the most profoundly disturbing human experiences, that of persecution, genocide, dislocation, disruption, forced migration, alienation, and loss.”(Koltyk, p21, Pioneers) Many Hmong have migrated to the US because they were actively involved in helping US Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. The people who recruited them for their expertise and assistance assured the Hmong that if the war was lost the US would take care of them and their families. They are the veterans of our own war fought on their land. We owe it to them to take care of them and their families. They are our allies. They helped us when we needed them; we owe them the same in return.

None should ever be left behind to suffer for involvement in our war. They assisted us out of choice; they could have chosen the other side and become our enemy. The Hmong fought side by side with our own troops. They provided valuable information and assistance that probably saved American lives. They deserve respect and care in this country. It was impossible for them to remain in their country of origin and we owe them refuge and sanctuary. The Hmong were originally from China. They began moving to Indochina around 1610. In the 1960’s The Hmong were recruited as Special Forces to control the border regions between Laos and Vietnam. The CIA provided ammunitions and food to the Hmong for their support in the Vietnam War. When the US pulled out of Vietnam the Hmong were unable to defend their territory without our support. The fled to refugee camps in Thailand. Since then we have been morally obligated to help and support them as refugees in our homeland.

The term refuge means to seek refuge or sanctuary and protection. It is defined in the American Heritage dictionary as, “One who flees in search of refuge, as from war or political oppression.” This is why the Hmong are here in the USA. They were not safe and we provided sanctuary. Many people are refugees seeking sanctuary from their own governments. These refugees have usually suffered tremendous hardships in their...

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