In our desire to insure an inclusive, humane, and tolerant society, we seem to have constructed a simplistic and inadequate picture of refugees and illegal immigrants.
Perhaps the majority of Americans and Canadians do not approach the question of refugees and immigrants with an open mind, but with a set of “progressive” assumptions:
The idea that all cultures are equally good and equally valuable, sometimes known as “cultural relativism.” When faced with an uninvited influx of outsiders, we do not worry about what culture the incomers are bringing, because, whatever it is, it supposedly must be fine.
That multiculturalism, the coexistence of a variety of cultures, is desirable. The more cultures in a multicultural society, the more cultural diversity, the better.
That in our society, and in the world generally, each person falls into the category of either oppressor or oppressed. our simple classification of oppressor and oppressed can generally class refugee claimants and illegal migrants as oppressed, because they are leaving a place of conflict or poverty or despotism, are people of colour, are Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist or from a smaller, non-Christian group, or are homosexual. We therefore define refugee claimants and illegal refugees as oppressed, as victims, desperate, and in need. We view them through a humanitarian lens, with generosity and sympathy.