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economic refugee

Meaning: a dysphemism for "refugee" or "asylum seeker"

For example:

  • They're not real refugees! They're economic refugees who just want to live in a rich country.

  • How can you call them economic refugees when they're escaping from a civil war?

Note: Mostly used by people and governments who don't want refugees coming to live in their country. By calling them "economic refugees", they're implying that they're not genuine refugees and that they're using a war or disaster in their own country as an excuse to move to a highly-developed country in order to become rich.

Quick Quiz:

He calls them "economic refugees" to make us think they're looking for

a. a safe country

b. a cheap country

c. a wealthy country

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Contributor: Matt Errey