If you've been thinking about the ways to define a refugee, I'm sure you've considered what it means to be a U.S. citizen. In general, a U.S. citizen is one who is a legal resident of the United States, who is granted the right to reside permanently in the U.S., and who, after legally becoming a citizen, decides to become a permanent resident of that country. However, there are some other conditions that make a person a refugee, rather than just a legal resident.

There are four different situations that would qualify someone into being considered a refugee. The first is if they have been subjected to persecution based on race, nationality, religion, or membership in a specific social group. The second is if they have sustained torture or serious physical injury as a result of being targeted for their beliefs, or for doing something deemed politically incorrect by the government of their own country. The third is if they have left their country for fear of persecution, the fourth is if they have survived or are presently experiencing an act of terrorism in their own country.

Because the refugee definition is used in international law and has to do with human rights, it includes the protection extended not only to a protected person but to those who want to seek protection. In fact, the refugee definition requires that anyone who is being persecuted for reasons of race, nationality, religion, or membership in a specific social group must be protected. This means that even people who are not nationals of a country can be protected from harm and protected from the risk of suffering cruel and severe punishment. For instance, children who are born in another country to two or more US citizen mothers can be considered a refugee. This is an international legal protection, as well as protection for parents who have left their children in another country for purposes of survival.

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