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

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Book of Jonas

by Stephen Dau

The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau X
The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2012, 272 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Beverly Melven
Buy This Book

About this Book

Refugees in the United States

This article relates to The Book of Jonas

Print Review

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 War II. The Refugee Act of 1980 standardized treatment of refugees from all countries, necessary after decades of temporary provisions for various immigrations from Communist Europe and Asia in the 1950s, Cuba in the 1960s, and Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War. Annual admission rates have ranged from a high of 207,000 in 1980, to a low of 27,100 in 2002. In 2011, more than 56,000 refugees arrived in the U.S. from all over the world.

In the United States, three government agencies are involved in processing refugees - Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of State. Usually working with the United Nations, several nongovernmental organizations and thousands of volunteers, these three agencies screen applicants before they come and provide for their care once they get here.

Filed under Society and Politics

Article by Beverly Melven

This "beyond the book article" relates to The Book of Jonas. It originally ran in September 2012 and has been updated for the February 2013 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Book of Goose
    The Book of Goose
    by Yiyun Li
    Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose is a story of childhood friendship between narrator Agnès, a one-...
  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Survive You
    If I Survive You
    by Jonathan Escoffery
    In If I Survive You, author Jonathan Escoffery portrays a family falling apart with grace. Main ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.