All Immigrants Are Not Refugees

By Rod Haenke

I stopped at several vendor booths at the ASCD Conference. When I told some of the sales people at the booths that I work with schools that serve many recent immigrants, they made the assumption that they were refugees. I kind of bristled at the suggestion. One even said, "Well what's the PC (politically correct) term?"

I asked the red haired young man where his your ancestors came from. He said, "From England, Ireland, and Scandinavia."

I then asked him if his ancestors were refugees or just immigrants.

It makes me wonder why people assume they the are all refugees. I wonder if the recent political winds have an effect.

Anyway, it struck me as odd. I just look at the Somali, Karen, and Hmong immigrants we have in the Twin Cities as no different as the immigrants that sailed into Ellis Island years ago - like my Great Grandfather William F. Haehnke (yes before the second h was dropped.) Maybe he was a refugee running from the law in the old land. 🙂



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