Refugees are people who are being persecuted in their own country who would like to go somewhere else until the threat has passed and they can go back home.
Are the Syrians refugees?
According to the New York Times, Syrians are being killed en masse, although the difficulty getting information means that the numbers – more than 200,000 fatalities – are probably much higher. They’re being gunned down at close range, starving, and even dying in U.S. attacks against ISIS. Hundreds are being tortured. Hundreds of thousands are under siege. These are civilians, not political figures or members of the military.
So yes. They are refugees.
I’ve been seeing memes and statements on Facebook indicating that if we help some, the bad guys will take advantage and hitch a ride on the wave. The people who say this seem to think it’s easy for refugees to get into the United States. This isn’t true.
If people in the United States stop freaking out over whether any of these refugees might be a terrorist, some of the Syrians may be able to go through the process of being allowed refugee status. To do this, they must get a referral from the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. A person who is able to get that referral gets to go through the application, investigation, and interview process, and after that they may be allowed to come to this country. But the number allowed in has always been capped, and now it sounds as if most of the people in our country (made up of the children and grandchildren of refugees) want to deny the rest, as well.
It seems to me that this is the result of the fear-mongering mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph, but there is another question I’ve seen floating around that should probably be addressed, too.
What about the strain on our resources?
Now, I’ve seen on Facebook that a lot of people are using the excuse: “But we have children and veterans and homeless who aren’t being taken care of, so why should we help someone else?”
I agree that our own people should also receive help, and I believe that our government could allot resources to feed and house all of them, as well as thousands of refugees. Where would they get that money? How about from the private corporations that have received government bailouts? Here’s a list of the companies and the billions of dollars they’ve received from the U.S. government. Why are we -all of us who pay our taxes- helping rich people instead of feeding our own poor, or those who are being persecuted?
That’s an interesting question. I’d like to know what you think the answer is.