Is the United States Still the World's "Melting Pot"?

America might be the world's melting pot when it comes to welcoming refugees, but recent statistics suggest that its northern neighbor has become a melting cauldron. In 2018, Canada resettled 28,000 people, marking the first time since 1980 that any country had outperformed the United States, which resettled 23,000 individuals. The figures come from a Pew Research Center analysis, which pointed to an overall decline in resettlement among several leading nations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. While it marked the first time the United States did not top the list since the adoption of the Refugee Act of 1980, the nation still holds an enormous lead in overall refugee placement. Since 1980, approximately three million refugees have found a new home in America, compared with 658,000 in Canada and 486,000 in Australia, which rank second and third, respectively.

The Pew report noted that one difference has been the change in U.S. leadership, with President Donald Trump sharply curtailing the number of refugees coming into the United States. In 2017, around 33,000 people were resettled in America, in sharp contrast to 2016, when the number reached 97,000 refugees. Overall, the world saw a record 20.4 million refugees seeking shelter in 2018, although only 92,000 were resettled.

A world of refugees:

  • Approximately half of all refugees are children.
  • International law forbids any country from forcing a refugee back to the nation from which he or she has fled.
  • 80 percent of all refugees find new homes in developing countries.
More Info: Pew Research Center

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