U.S. Politicians looking to Slam Door in the face of Syrian Refugees

History, Numbers Show U.S. Politicians “Solutions” for Refugees not Ideal

In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, France on November 13, many American politicians have come out with their takes on whether or not Syrian refugees should be allowed to enter the country and applied for citizenship through refugee or asylum status. Many, especially those on the right, have shown their true colors by speaking out against allowing refugees from a war-torn country to enter the United States. It is clear that many of those in positions of power here in America are against the United States taking the “tired, poor and huddled masses,” to quote Emma Lazarus.

The United States House of Representatives passed a bill on Nov. 19 that would stall the program that allows Syrian refugees into the U.S. with a vote of 289-137. Of the 289 votes, 242 of them were Republicans who cited “national security” as the main reason for denying Syrians the right to refuge. The vote had enough of a majority to pass even after a potential veto from President Barack Obama. Although the Senate could still vote against the bill, it is clear that President Obama is one of few politicians on Capitol Hill that see Syrian Refugees for what they are: refugees looking to escape a terrible home for a better one. Before the vote took place, Republican Senator Elaine Morgan wrote an email to her colleagues suggesting that Syrian Refugees be moved to a “refugee camp” if admitted to the United States; as if to say we still lived in 1942. Morgan also wrote her own special commentary of the Muslim religion, saying their philosophy is to “murder, rape and decapitate anyone who is non-Muslim.”

One particularly puzzling case is that of Mayor John Cranley. Cranley, who recently discussed future plans for Cincinnati becoming one of the most “friendly cities” for immigrants in the next few years, had a less-than-humanitarian take on Syrian refugees in a statement following the Paris attacks:

“Syrian resettlement is a federal issue, not a local one,” Cranley said. “While the City of Cincinnati is not involved and has no jurisdiction on this issue, the actions of the federal government affect the safety of Cincinnatians, which is my highest concern. I understand the dire circumstances Syrian refugees face because I personally visited a refugee camp in Jordan last summer. However, in light of recent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and Egypt, the federal government should halt its actions until the American people can be assured that exhaustive vetting has occurred.”

It is clear that Cranley’s idea for being “friendly” to immigrants does not come for all who would like to live in the city of Cincinnati, but of potential immigrants of which Cranley gets to handpick. Cranley does not want to take in Syrian refugees; although they may be the people who need to flee their country the most. Western Powers have already begun bombing Syria in order to hit ISIS in what intelligence says to be their strongholds. Historically speaking, Syrian refugees have peacefully lived in the United States following admission. Since 2011, 23,092 the number of Syrian refugees UNHCR has referred to the U.S. Refugees Admission Program. Over 7,000 Syrians have been interviewed by the Department of Homeland Security and 2,034 have been admitted to the United States in that time. Not one Syrian refugee that settled in the United States has been arrested, removed-due-to or charged with an act of terrorism.

Though it may be difficult to come up with a solution to appease the American people in these trying times, denying human beings the right to find a better home is not the way to go. It would not only hurt the American reputation, but also could potentially be playing right into the enemies hands. Refugees, if forced to stay in Syria, could not really have a choice but to join ISIS. It’s not too hard to imagine, as peaceful people often get dragged into violence when countries and organizations are at war.

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Additional Resources

1) Mayor Cranley: Cincinnati will not be taking in Syrian refugees http://www.fox19.com/story/30531189/mayor-cranley-cincinnati-will-not-be-taking-in-syrian-refugees , Harrington, Ashley,Channel Fox 19, Novemeber, 16, 2015.