UN Pushes for Migrants to be Called Refugees

Created: 07/08/2014 5:32 AM

United Nations officials are pushing for many of the Central Americans fleeing to the U.S. to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict.
A refugee designation is meant to increase pressure on the United States to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum.
Officials with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees say they hope to see a regional agreement on that status Thursday, when migration and interior department representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America meet in Nicaragua.
The group plans to discuss updating a 30-year-old declaration regarding the obligations nations have to help refugees.
Such a resolution would lack any legal weight in the United States, but U.N. officials say the U.S. and Mexico should recognize that "this is a refugee situation," which they say means that refugees should receive international protection and not be automatically be sent home.

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Human-rights activist Enrique Morones, at podium, speaks during a rally in support of immigrants Wednesday, July 2, 2014, in San Diego.
Photo: AP/Gregory Bull

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