Immigrant vs. refugee: Undocumented children crossing the border - Tucson News Now

Immigrant vs. refugee: Undocumented children crossing the border

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Legally speaking, there is a big difference between a "refugee" and an "undocumented immigrant." 

A refugee has many more rights because, in most cases, refugees are here legally.

The children being housed in Nogales are not refugees, though some of them may be requesting asylum.

Why is that important? Because anybody who comes to the United States, even somebody apprehended at the border, can request asylee status.

That doesn't mean it's going to be granted, but in many cases, they can stay here tentatively while their request is pending.

With regard to these children, many say say they left their countries in fear of gang violence. Honduras, for example, has one of the highest murder rates of any country in the world.

We don't know if that will necessarily give these children legal asylum, but it could buy them some time, even if that means being held indefinitely in detention centers.

We were originally told these kids would stay in the Nogales facility two or three days and some of them have been there for nearly two weeks now.

The question that looms now is: What happens next?

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