By Alexis Garcia
Since the onset of the civil war in Syria, which started in 2011, according to Worldvision more than 13.5 million Syrians have found themselves in need of humanitarian assistance. Of these total of 13.5 million, 4.3 million people are officially classified as refugees. Of the total, 6.6 million have been displaced within Syria, and half of these are children. In 2015 the US opened the doors to about 1,800 Syrian refugees who were relocated in states including Texas, California, Illinois, and Arizona.
There is a robust and controversial debate taking place in the American government and presidential candidates about what should the US do about the millions of Syrian refugees needing to be resettled. Some of the ideas include accepting refugees and rejecting refugees. A compelling argument coming from the a generally Republican consortium, is that the United States should not allow Syrian refugees to seek asylum because of the potential threats they pose to this country and the overall costs to the US.
A substantial number of politicians, such as Donald Trump, Rand Paul, and Ben Carson, pretty much all the Republican candidates, believe that it’s extremely dangerous for the US to welcome Syrian refugees into the country because these refugees are a potential terrorist threat putting America in danger.
All of this fear towards Syrian refugees, especially Muslim followers, raised dramatically from the recent attacks in Paris. Based on information from CNN that said, “A Syrian passport found next to one of the attackers’ bodies stoked fears that the man had been a refugee”. Which clearly heated up things in the US on whether it was secure to accept Syrian refugees. In last December’s Republican debate it was clear to see how things escalated quickly about the Middle Eastern refugees. Rand Paul claimed, “People talk about the large influx of people leaving the Middle East, going to Europe and some of them wanting to go to the United States, that it may not be a benign thing to accept so many tens of thousands of people coming from the Middle East because many of them actually wish us harm”.
According to the Fact Check stated “Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Carly Fiorina repeatedly have claimed that the Obama administration plans to accept anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 Syrian refugees.” This sort of rhetoric is important for reminding people of the dangers of accepting a potentially dangerous population into the United States which in turn is key for furthering an agenda to bar Syrian refugees.
Based on the Numbersusa Syrian refugees who are accepted to the US will be provided housing, welfare, food stamps and 70% percent of the refugees will receive cash welfare. Additionally, it will cost taxpayers 130 million dollars per year and the cost can even increase in the next 50 years to 6.5 billion.
Because of the potential threats and the costs associated with accepting Syrian refugees the US should instead be ensuring that the refugee crisis does not become a domestic problem. According to MSNBC¨A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Monday found 52% of Americans believe countries where Syrian refugees are accepted are less safe. Forty percent said those countries should continue to accept refugees, while 41% said they should stop accepting them. The poll did not ask specifically about the United States¨.
This next story is based on a recent event that happen in New Year’s Eve this year when hundreds of sexual assaults and robberies particularly targeting women occurred in Cologne, Germany. According to BBCnews 553 criminal complaints have been filed by women in Cologne since New Year’s Eve of which 45% were for sexual ausulted. Authorities in Cologne have said that the majority of the accused are immigrants, most notably Syrian refugees.
Cologne attacks will bring more concerned to the US and the people that think refugees are a threat to this country. This situation will be talked for months and will create more fear towards Syrian refugees and will really make the American society think is it safe to welcome Syrian refugees.
The US should be working to ensure no Syrian refugees are allowed entry because it is impossible to determine who among them are potential threats to American society. It is very hard to predict what’s going to happen with Syrian refugees in the next two years because there are so many variable from a potential resolution to the conflict in Syria, to changes that will result from a new executive administration in the US. There will be new presidential elections this year and approximately 75% of the Republican presidential candidates are against welcoming Syrian refugees into the US. On the other hand if a Democratic candidate gets elected the chances are actually high because . Regardless, the point remains that all of these variables only serve to support the position that the US should focus on domestic issues rather than focusing on solving problems of other nations and if those international problems spill over into American domestic affairs, the solutions should both be up to Americans and serve Americans.