Refugees in the United States: Background information when reading The Book of Jonas

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The Book of Jonas

By Stephen Dau

The Book of Jonas
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2012,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2013,
    272 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
Refugees in the United States

The 1951 Refugee Convention which established the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, defines a refugee as someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." While Jonas in The Book of Jonas, does not fit this definition exactly, he was indeed seeking refuge in the United States from the fighting that killed his family, and he could not safely stay in his home country. Once in the United States, Jonas makes friends with other refugees - a sub-culture of people running from horrors elsewhere - in his high school and later in college.

Thousands of refugees settle in the U.S. every year The Displaced Persons Act of 1948 was enacted in the U.S. to help victims of Nazi persecution. The act allowed more than 250,000 displaced Europeans to settle in the U.S. after World ...

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