In the past decades, there have been heated debates surrounding border control and citizenship. The trend is rampant in Western countries that discuss newcomers, and thus, there is a need to understand what distinguishes a migrant or refugee from a citizen, as well as define those concepts. A refugee refers to any person that flees his or her homecountry to save his/her life or in search of freedom. A migrant refers to a person who changes the place of residence to search for means of livelihood, join family members, and for a range of other reasons. On the other hand, a citizen is a person who has legal rights to enjoy privileges granted by a state. Citizens must obey the laws of the country and fulfill their duties. The distinctions identify people’s limitations regarding social, economic, and political norms. Moreover, those distinctions help in understanding racism and alienation.
Distinctions between migrants, refugees, and citizens trigger racism or alienation. This begins when migrants and refugees enter a country and gain the status of “non-citizens.” Often, one can encounter hateful messages directed towards refugees and migrants because citizens feel that only they have the right to enjoy privileges stipulated in their constitution and strangers should not impede those rights. Consequently, citizens’ negative response causes social distrust and prejudice directed towards refugees and migrants that trigger racism and alienation, especially towards those who come from Muslim countries. Citizens view refugees and migrants as a constant threat, which greatly contributes to their negative attitudes towards newcomers.