Acculturation: Adoption or borrowing of traits from another culture; merging of cultures as a result of prolonged contract
Advocacy: The act of pleading for or offering support in defense of a person
Alien: Under U.S. law, any person who is not a U.S. citizen is considered an "alien"; most aliens have some form of legal status in the United States and some are undocumented. (This term has commonly been associated with the assumption of "illegal" status, and therefore has strong negative connotations.)
Alien (Level KB3): A person who is not a citizen of the United States
Amnesty: A pardon granted to a group by an authority
Assumption: Supposition that something is true
Asylee: The definition of an asylee conforms to that of a refugee. The only difference is the location of the person upon application; the asylee is in the receiving country whereas the refugee is in the country of origin. (INS)
Asylum: Somewhere one can go to find safety. To offer asylum means to offer protection in a safe country to people who are in danger in their own country. (UNHCR)
Asylum seeker: An individual who is presenting their claim for refuge protection while already in the U.S.
Catholic social teaching: A body of doctrine which articulates the church's response to social issues based on the teachings of Jesus
Catholic social teaching (Level KB3): The many teachings of the Catholic Church which tell us how Jesus wants us to treat immigrants and refugees
Cause: Something that brings about a result. Often the remote cause of migration is economic; the more proximate cause may be violence, environmental degradation such as loss of rain forests or desert lands; also the desire for safety and security, protection of human rights. Causes are not simplistic, but multi-faceted.
Church: "All the people of God" Lumen Gentium, Chap. 2 AIn Christian usage, the word >church= designates the liturgical assembly, but also the local community or the whole universal community of believers. These three meanings are inseparable. >The Church= is the People that God gathers in the whole world. She exists in local communities and is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ=s Body.@ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, p. 215)
Civil law: That body of law which each nation, commonwealth, or city has established for itself
Common good: That which leads to the well being of all persons (John XXIII, Mater et Magistra, 1961)
Common good (Level KB3): Working together so that all people in the world may live a better life
Country of the first asylum: The country to which a refugee first flees from persecution (UNHCR)
Country of origin: A refugee's homeland; the country from which a refugee first flees (UNHCR)
Culture: The sum total of a people's social and psychological organization which shapes the way they perceive, relate to, and interpret themselves and the world, including values, language, customs, food, child-rearing practices, educational systems, history, political structure
Culture (Level KB3): A way of life; The way families and groups of people live, work, and play together; e.g., the way they eat, speak, dress, build houses, raise their children, pray, celebrate and work together
Displaced persons: People who have been forced to leave their homes because of persecution, war, or other threats; unlike refugees, they remain in their own countries. (UNHCR)
Diversity: Differences; variety with the potential of enriching
Emigrate: To leave one=s country and to live elsewhere
Enculturation: Process by which persons are born into and rooted in their own culture
Ethnocentrism: A tendency to view alien groups or cultures in terms of one's own; the belief in the inherent superiority of one's own group or culture, accompanied by a feeling of contempt for other groups and cultures
Green card: Identity card verifying the permanent residence of an alien
Haven: A safe place
Hospitality: Treating people as guests to your home
Human rights: Just claims of every person. Every person is a subject and not an object. (Dec. 10, 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Immigrant: A person who moves to a country to take up permanent residence
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS): U.S. government agency whose task is to enforce the laws passed by Congress regarding immigrants and refugees
Immigrate: To move into a different country
Just/unjust laws: Rules of conduct that are fair, that are based on principles. At times justice/injustice is defined differently by civil law and by moral law.
Legal immigrant: A person who has been admitted to reside and work on a permanent basis in the U.S., most commonly based on reunification with close family members or employment
Migrant: A person on the moveCeither voluntarily or involuntarilyCin the person's own country, internationally, or both. A person who leaves his/her country to live in another country to join family, find a better life, etc. Unlike refugees, migrants are free to return home whenever they wish because their lives are not in danger there. (UNHCR)
Migrant (Level KB3): A person who moves within his/her country or into another one
Migrant farmworker: A person who does temporary farm work and moves from one area or country to another. This term may be applied to citizens, legal immigrants, and undocumented immigrants.
Migrate: To move from one country or state to another
Migration: Moving from one country or state to another
Moral law: The law of conscience
Myth: An unfounded or false idea or notion
Naturalization: Process whereby the U.S. Government confers upon an alien the rights and privileges of a citizen.
NGO: Non-governmental organization
Newcomer (Level KB3): A person who moves into this country from another and is not known to us
Non-immigrant: A person who is legally in the U.S. on a temporary basis, for reasons such as tourism, business, study, or has some other temporary immigration status
"Non-refoulement": See "Principle of "non-refoulement."
Passport: A formal document issued by a country to one of its own citizens which allows them to travel in and out of the country
Paternalism: An attitude toward another person based on an assumption of superiority which expresses itself in a parent/child relationship. This contrasts with a relationship based on collaboration, cooperation, partnership.
Persecution: Action to cause individuals or groups undue suffering because of their race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, or political beliefs (UNHCR)
Pilgrim: A person who journeys in a foreign land; a person who travels to a shrine or holy place as a devotee
Pilgrimage: The journey of a person or group of persons to a shrine or holy place
Prejudice: Preconceived judgment or opinion
Principle of "non-refoulement" (Principle of non-return): Under international law, a nation cannot push people back to or prevent them from leaving the country of persecution
Pro-immigrant: In favor of immigrants
Racism: Discrimination based on the belief that some races are superior to others
Refugee (Legal): "Any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unableCor owing to such fear, is unwillingCto avail him/herself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his/her former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it." (UN International Law) Refugee status is requested and approved in country of origin.
Refugee (Church): A person who is forcibly uprooted by circumstances beyond his or her control, such as armed conflict, persecution, civil disorder, severe poverty, famine, and environmental degradation. Grounded in its teachings on human dignity and protection of life, the Church defines "refugee" more broadly than does international law (UN).
Refugee (Popular): A person in flight from a desperate situation
Refugee (Level KB3): A person who is forced to leave his/her country because he/she feels it is no longer safe to live there
Repatriation: The act of returning home to the country of origin by a refugee. UNHCR believes voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity is the best solution for a refugee.
Resettlement: The organized movement of refugees from camps or other temporary situations to another country where they can reside on a permanent basis (UNHCR)
Solidarity: Unity based on shared values; the virtue that provides the motivation to work for the common good. Solidarity challenges individualism at the national and international level .
Stereotype: A standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, affective attitude, or uncritical judgment
Stranger (Level KB3): A person whom we do not know and/or is new in our country
Tourist: A person who travels for pleasure
Tradition: A practice or story which is passed from generation to generation
Undocumented immigrant: A person who is in a country without the permission of that country's government. Such persons are called "undocumented" because they lack required paperwork.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: A declaration, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, which proclaimed a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms." Article 14 states: "Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution."
Visa: A formal approval which allows a non-citizen to enter a country
Xenophobia: The fear of or contempt for strangers or foreigners
UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UN International Law - United Nations International Law
Mater et Magistra - Pope John XXIII, 1961
Lumen Gentium - Document of Vatican II, Chapter Two