Call them Venezuelan Migrants, NOT Refugees

The office of calamity keeps calling the those leaving Venezuela refugees. But they are NOT. They are economic migrant. And it is VERY important to understand the difference, before Aruba, as guided by the kingdom the UN and the Red Cross, is flooded with boat people.

Let’s start with a definition:

The definition of a refugee:  A person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

More of the same: A refugee is a person who has fled his or her own country and cannot return due to fear of persecution, war or a natural disaster.

The definition of an economic migrant, or migrant worker: A person who moves from one region to another to seek an improvement in living standards because the living conditions or job opportunities in his own region are not good.

More of the same: An economic migrant, or migrant worker is someone who voluntarily chooses to leave his or her own country and make a new life in another country. People are moving for work and better opportunities.

So, you already understand where I am going.

The United Nations says that in order to be called a refugee, a person must have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, and as such deserves protection.

The United Nations also protects economic migrants, or migrant workers out of humanitarian reason, but the two are NOT the same.

Venezuela is one of the riches countries in the world, and it has been committing financial suicide for the past 20 years. The situation there will not improve, unless Venezuelans will take matter into their hands to fix it. It has been done before, so in principle, they shouldn’t flush their country down the toilet, yet.

We should call the Venezuelans wishing to come and live here, migrant workers, not refugees, and if indeed we decided to ready a holding facility for them, if and when they come in bigger numbers, we should think about it carefully, have real plans for schooling and employment otherwise we’re in big trouble, and that will cost big money this is not a $5 a day undertaking!

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March 03, 2018
Rona Coster