A refugee is a person who a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster. An asylee is a person who is seeking or has been granted political asylum. These immigrants must apply for acceptance as a refugee or asylee and many apply to multiple countries in order to escape the harsh realities of their lives. Each country has a system of screening and processing. Our process, in the U.S., is very thorough and aims to assure successful entry and assimilation for individuals and families. Each applicant undergoes a year and a half background investigation, first, and is then screened for other parameters, including health. In southwest Virginia, the receiving communities have benefited mightily by an influx of talent from all over the world and from the tremendous surge of volunteerism in support of those persons who are selected to settle here.
As a physician who has assessed thousands of incoming refugees and asylees from all over the world, I cannot think of one that I would not want as my neighbor.