What’s the Difference Between a Refugee, an Asylum Seeker and an Immigrant?

Two girls in white and red shirts stand amidst foliage, looking somber.

In the past several years, the number of people moving away from their homes has exploded. War, violence, political instability and poverty are pushing people to search for better places. But the terminology can be confusing. What’s the definition of a refugee? How is that different from an internally displaced person, a stateless person or an asylum seeker?

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Life in Haiti After the Earthquake: A Changed Perspective

life in Haiti Received from Ken Laura, a member of our Haiti Relief Team working in Port-au-Prince.


Sunday, April 25 — I moved last week and it has changed my situation and my perspective. Instead of sleeping in a tent beside the main road of Delmas listening to trucks roar up and down the street all night, I go to sleep seeing stars, and awaken to bird calls. Some of the birds are roosters, which start crowing at about 4:30, but other than that it is amazingly quiet here.

Whenever the power is out, usually from the morning until 10 p.m. there are very few lights in the area. Although the houses are a million dollars in size, they are only about $100,000 complete.

People do have mortgages here, but many build with the cash that they save from year to year and pay as they go. They don’t owe the bank interest, but they also have to wait a really long time to move into the house.

My new home is at the top of a steep hill in a very nice subdivision with a guard and pavement, mostly maintained. Some friends I’ve met are letting me stay as a courtesy.

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