Op-ed by Professor Pahnke: world’s definition of ‘refugee’ shortchanges economic migrants

Author: Campus Memo
January 24, 2022

In a Jan. 2 Los Angeles Times op-ed, International Relations Assistant Professor Anthony Pahnke demands immigration reform that would help those in dire financial straits. He argues that such migrants should be entitled to the same rights as refugees.

“Our current system for refugees fails to recognize that economic desperation is often the cause that drives people across borders,” Pahnke wrote. “These migrants enter a veritable black hole of international law, quite literally a no man’s — or no person’s — land without immigration pathways for people experiencing economic desperation, no matter how acute. The world’s framework for accepting refugees needs to be overhauled to give more of these migrants viable futures.”