More than 200,000 people in the United States may be stateless, isolated and unable to travel, bank, see a doctor or get a job, according to groundbreaking research released on Thursday.
There are an estimated 10 to 15 million people globally who are not recognized as citizens of any country – living without passports, rights or access to the most basic services.
Yet there were no reliable statistics on the number living in the United States, so researchers used profiles of similar groups in other countries and applied the characteristics to U.S. census data, said the Center for Migration Studies.
“It’s not an inconsequential problem,” Donald Kerwin, executive director of the Center and an author of the report, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Interviewees for the report emphasized the psychological stress, stigma, and fallout of lacking legal status.
“I can’t tell anybody, I have to live a double life. I have to think about every word I say, who I say it to and what I say,” one interviewee was quoted as saying in the report.
People lose their nationality for a host of historical, political and legal reasons: following mass migration, due to flawed laws or forced out by discrimination and war.
They are vulnerable to exploitation, stuck within borders and may be ineligible for jobs, health care, schools and bank services, the study said.
“The study itself validates us and recognizes us,” said Karina Clough of United Stateless, an advocacy group.
“You feel like you’re in limbo,” said Clough, a stateless resident of Philadelphia who was born in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine.
Press TV is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network, affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).
IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB’s head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country’s conservative political faction. Press TV is headquartered in Tehran with offices and bureaus around the world; including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip.
*All posts on behalf of PressTV are made by Jim W. Dean