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The notion of America as land of refuge is vital to American civic consciousness yet over the past seventy years the country has had a complicated and sometimes erratic relationship with its refugee populations. Attitudes and actions toward refugees from the government, voluntary organizations, and the general public have ranged from acceptance to rejection; from well-wrought program efforts to botched policy decisions.
Drawing on a wide range of contemporary and historical material, and based on the author s three-decade experience in refugee research and policy, Safe Haven? provides an integrated portrait of this crucial component of American immigration and of American engagement with the world. Covering seven decades of immigration history, Haines shows how refugees and their American hosts continue to struggle with national and ethnic identities and the effect this struggle has had on American institutions and attitudes.