Last September, I wrote a blog about the Syrian refugee crisis. Multiple stories of migrant deaths, including young children, had been reported in the media. I, along with other people in the country, advocated that the U.S. needed to welcome a greater number of Syrians.
Then, attacks in Beirut, Paris, and Egypt happened, not to mention several other incidents linked to terrorism and ISIS. A Syrian passport was found near one of the dead attackers in Paris. Authorities believe he came to France along with other Syrian migrants.
Since then, multiple state governors, republicans, and mayors in the United States have stated that they do not want Syrian refugees in the U.S., or in their states and cities. The Senate is even considering passing a bill to end the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the country.
These xenophobic and inhumane reactions will not protect the American people. Instead, they put us all at greater risk while failing to protect the people who need it the most. ISIS and terrorists want western nations to appear hostile towards people in the Middle East and towards Muslims. It helps them justify their violence, recruit more people to their cause, and plan more attacks.
Meanwhile, over four million people have left Syria and are seeking a safe haven elsewhere. They are the victims of terrorism and of a brutal totalitarian regime. Now, more than ever, the United States needs to play its role in helping the refugees. Of course, everything that can be done to screen individuals coming to the U.S. should be done. But as President Obama said, “slamming the door to refugees would be a betrayal of U.S. values.”
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