The Syrian Refugee Crisis
The United States was built upon the simple phrase in the Declaration of Independence, stating that everyone has the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.
From the Revolutionary War, where we fought for our independence, to World War I, where we joined forces with other countries for what we thought was right, the United states has always been a major influence in fostering independence for citizens of foreign countries. As a member of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), it is essential that I contribute to helping to provide aid and solutions for people around the world who. This can be done through repatriation, or returning people to their place of citizenship during crisis. Or through resettlement within the United States for refugees seeking somewhere safe when their countries are in turmoil. In the world the United States has always been a major leader in giving aid to the refugees that need it the most; at the same time preserving our national security.
According to PRM, “since 1975, Americans have welcomed over 3 million refugees from all over the world”. All of these refugees have had to apply at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in their respective countries. This ensures that they will not pose a threat to the security of our country, and that they truly need to leave due to fear of what may happen to them if they were to stay. The Syrian refugee crisis has sparked a heated debate throughout the country. The Syrian civil war has threatened the lives of the more than 11 million Syrian citizens. They have fled to nearby countries like Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.
This crisis began in around 2011 through peaceful protest as a part of the arab spring. The government began to fight back and the fight between them and the rebels has been ongoing. As time passes, ethnic syrian groups and groups among the rebels based on their religious views increased the intensity of the situation. When half of the population was either killed or forced to leave,the Syrian refugee crisis became the worst humanitarian crisis we have seen in a long time. The situation has been seen through the lens of those willing to be on the frontlines of the Syrian refugees attempting to get somewhere safe. Commonly associated with this “migration crisis”, as some may call it, is a picture of a lone child.
The picture of a three-year-old toddler “in a red T-shirt, blue shirts and Velcro sneakers, found face-down on a Turkish beach” (NPR). The death of that child is tragic in that another human life is lost, and the all the potential he had is gone with him as well. He will never have the chance to do the things that millions of other children do because of something completely avoidable. When a country like Syria is as chaotic as it is now, world powers like the United States need to intervene and protect them using the abundant resources that we have. United States citizens are usually compliant to the government wanting to participate in humanitarian aid.
However, recent events have caused them to question whether or not they want to allow refugees that could possibly pose a national security threat. The terrorist attacks that took place in Paris, France last year have urged leaders in different countries to halt the influx of Syrian refugees in fear that they could be associated with the infamous terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). This is all due to the fake passport found on a terrorist that claimed to be a Syrian refugee. The president’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year was stopped and the debate began within our country on what we should do. The conversations between government officials that deal with national security have increased greatly.
Of course, this is necessary because the country has a duty to protect the United States citizens. But after analyzing the situation, it is nearly impossible for a refugee to be a terrorist. Just the chances of a refugee being a terrorist is so slim. And considering the extensive application and screening process for all refugees, it is inhumane to deny these people the opportunity to be safe. Instead of preoccupying ourselves with modern entertainment in government, like the unsettlingly humorous political campaign, the country should work on saving as many lives as we can.
The United States has the capacity to help the mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons who risk their lives on only the chance of reaching our shores. The idea of the American Dream lives on in their hearts more than ever. Unfortunately, many governors have refused to house refugees in fear of the slight chance of negative consequences that could come from that. This has helped fuel negative assumptions that the American people have towards the newly resettled refugees; which creates a hostile environment for the refugees, and continues the use of stereotypes in our society. I feel it is my duty to implement a system that promotes positive messages about the refugees.
The United States can help by broadcasting factual data that supports helping the Syrian refugees. The information can be seen in public outlets such as bus stops and metro stations. The data can be supplied by trusted humanitarian non-profits such as Mercy Corps, a porminimnet advocate for refugees. States can find also sponsorship with popular media outlets to help cover costs as well. The reduction of stereotyping among United STates citizen will help to foster a healthy environment where the Syrian refugees can get better and live the life they deserve.
Finally, and probably the most important thing, making sure we do all we can to secure our national security interests. This can easily be achieved by enhancing the screening process for refugee applicants. The application process is already extensive to the point where allowing someone to come into the country with bad intentions is nearly impossible. Securing the process is assurance to the American people that we are keeping their interest in mind. With the combined efforts of the the government and the American people, we can help the less fortunate while ensuring our safety.