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Examining the divide between immigrants and refugees in the U.S.

Florida residents may be interested in an article discussing the major differences between those who enter the country classified as immigrants versus those who are called refugees. These differences may have a large effect on how they are treated by the U.S. legal system.

The major difference between a refugee and an immigrant is the reason that they have decided to enter the country. Immigrants have made a choice to leave their home and are allowed into the U.S. through a specific legal process. When this process is not followed, the person is classified as an undocumented immigrant and are subject to deportation. There are around 11 million such immigrants in the U.S. Many immigrants, both documented and undocumented, come to the U.S. in order to improve their lives economically or to improve their families' future.

A refugee is one who was forced out of their home due to a potential injury or persecution related to their religion, race or political affiliation. To be classified as a refugee, the person must show proof that they would face this harm at home. The process for refugees to apply for asylum in the U.S. may take years. However, a 2008 law that was signed in response to worldwide child slavery issues places children into a special category, which guarantees them a full hearing on their asylum status instead of being turned back. According to one report, the law has been cited as the reason that many children, who are attempting to escape from violence, are making their way to the U.S. from countries in Central America.

For those seeking to find asylum or emigrate to the U.S., an attorney with experience in NEWS What's the difference between immigrant and refugee?", Michael Martinez and Miguel Marquez , July 15, 2014

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