by Hadel-Lynn Leyco
Due to terrorist attacks, such as the one in Paris in November, there has been a hesitancy towards accepting Syrian refugees, especially within the United States. However, we should put aside this fear and continue to be willing to accept political refugees.
Overall, this has been the worst refugee crisis since World War II, in accordance to the European Commision of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. In fact, an estimated four million Syrians are registered and waiting to be declared as refugee status. This is much higher than the amount of refugees from the Rwandan Genocide and the Holocaust combined.
We, having the financial resources to do so, have a moral obligation to assist others in need. In relation to the National Priorities Project, U.S. citizens are currently paying around $4 billion for foreign aid in 2015, while also paying around $7 billion for military action the against Islamic State (IS) in 2015. As a member of the United Nations, the U.S. should follow through with the mission statement to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, improve social progress, as well as better living standards and human rights.
The largest fear that Americans have is that if we accept refugees, more IS supporters will come in, allowing more terrorist attacks to occur. However, it is unlikely that this will happen considering the fact that the process to get into the United States is highly difficult, more so if one is a refugee.
According to the U.S. State Department, if a refugee is approved to be sent to the U.S., their case will be processed and received by a Resettlement Support Center (RSC). Here, they perform various security screenings, which will be checked by intelligence and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the person is a model citizen. Afterwards, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review this information and will conduct an in-person interview. Lastly, there is a health-screening to ensure that the person does not host any contagious diseases.
This process takes an estimated 18-24 months. If a person was a supporter of an extremist or terrorist organization, they would have been caught by then. Even if they were able to go through the screening discreetly, it would be highly difficult to get into the United States because of how it is almost a chance drawing.
Lastly, aiding refugees can actually benefit a country advance either technologically or economically. According to Huffington Post, when Germany took in 6.6 million refugees in 2012, which is the largest amount of Syrian refugees in comparison to other countries, it gained 20 billion Euros from taxes alone. This is more than what was the overall cost of keeping them there and attaining to their needs.
In terms of advancements, Steve Jobs is well known for the creation of Apple Company. His birth father, as he would be set up for adoption, was a Syrian migrant. If his father did not migrate from Syria to the United States, then the creation of Apple products, such as Iphones, would not be created to build the multi billion dollar corporation it is now.
Overall, punishing an ethnic group due to our fear of terrorism will only create more tensions; thus, making our fears come even more to life. These people did not choose to live in the situation that they were forced to endure.Therefore, it is our job as Americans to set aside our preconceptions about these individuals and focus more on helping them instead.Scan_20151202 (3)