Step two of the Justice test calls into question if the distribution is fair between all parties involved. In this case, both sides of the argument stand to gain and lose something. The Syrian refugees stand to gain a new home while being open to discrimination and prejudice. The country accepting refugees and its citizens stand to gain long-term benefits such as decreases in their unemployment and increases in their health care system. They also stand to gain cultural knowledge as well as more tightly knit communities. In this case, there would be a fair distribution of benefits and burdens between all the parties in this situation. Lastly, the third step of this test asks to draw a conclusion. The best conclusion would be for the United States to accept Syrian refugees as they would be providing individuals who have little to nothing a home along with safety. This test is a valid test as it gives everyone an equal share due to everyone being worth the same, therefore making sure that everyone has an equal claim to a share. The best option as far as this theory and test go is to accept Syrian refugees as it is the right thing to do and is just in its cause.
Another theory that can be applied when considering whether or not to accept refugees is the Communitarian or Community-based theory. This theory states that rather than basing the ethicality of a situation off of an individual’s happiness or the utility generated to the greatest number of people and centering it on the rights of individuals over the rights of the whole, the moral thinking within a community has a source in the historical traditions of it. This theory focuses on the idea of common good or shared value that a community embodies. Step one of this test asks to identify what specific parts of the common good are involved. For one, family, social, educational, and health care systems are all required for human growth, development, and happiness. On the other hand, a functioning government, peace, and legal systems are required for the production of goods and services as well as economic development. These are all parts of the common good that will be impacted by the introduction of Syrian refugees into the American culture. With Syrian refugees coming into the United States, they will be provided with more opportunities to help grow not only their families and learn more about the lives of American citizens, but those citizens will also be provided with the opportunity to learn more about them, their culture, as well as their religion. This in turn will help to create a more ethnically and culturally diverse country, therefore making it more open accepting to others.
Step two of the test asks to explain why there is an obligation for people to promote the common good, or at the very least, protect it. There is an obligation to promote the common good as it not only impacts people individually, but it also affects communities and the country accepting the refugees as well. The assimilation of refugees into the United States would cause for a more accepting and diverse country that would be more knowledgeable about other people and their countries. This is valuable as it shows growth and maturity from both the refugees and the citizens of the United States as they would both need to learn to coexist. A more culturally diverse and well-informed country would only create a positive image in the eyes of other nations and people as it would showcase its sustainability. Step three of this test question if the proposed action conflicts with the obligations of the common good. In this case, the situation at hand would not be hindering the obligation towards the common good as it would only be promoting it. Accepting others into a new environment shows patience, kindness, as well as acceptance, all of which are necessary when promoting the common good. The introduction of Syrian refugees into the American society would not in any way weaken the stability of the country, only help add to. Drawing a conclusion, step four, the best choice would be to accept the Syrian refugees as they would help teach acceptance, compassion, and empathy. The common good requires people to consider the welfare of all involved and by accepting Syrian refugees into the United States, they gain a safe and secure home while the U.S. would gain a stronger economy and drops in their unemployment rate.
As all three theories point out, the best and most ethically as well as morally correct option regarding the Syrian refugee crisis is to accept them into the United States. These theories all come together to show that the accepting Syrian refugees into the United States would prove to help the country become more ethnically as well as culturally diverse and well-informed. It would also help create a more economically stable country where employment rates would be on the downfall and health care systems would be increasing. For those who consider the long process of assimilating Syrian refugees into American culture and society, there are many programs that aid those in need. One of the most important non-profit organizations to arise from the assimilation of Syrian refugees into America is the Syrian Community Network, an organization that supplements efforts in helping refugees adjust to life in the United States. Their main goal is to partner up with other refugee settlement agencies in providing support to refugees, connecting them with appropriate services and community resources, fostering relationships with Syrian refugees and the larger American community, as well as to establish cultural competency for staff working with Syrians refugees and for the Syrians learning about American culture for the first time. The SCN is especially sensitive to the emotional needs of the newly arrived asylum seekers who feel overwhelmed by their situation and attempt to put their American counterpart neighbors at rest regarding the status of the refugees. Those who harbor any suspicions or wariness about the refugees are welcome to learn more about them and help assimilate them into their new lives. This agency is special in that offers English Language courses, job training and placement, skill building exercises to new refugees and is a supplement service managed by a larger organization called Refugee One (McNeely, 2016, pg. 14). The relationship between these families and their mentors is one that is long-lasting and provides a sense of stability, something most of the refugee families have not had for years. One example given in McNeely’s article was not only does SCN help facilitate translations for parent teacher conferences at refugee children’s’ schools, they also attend graduations and remain involved in the families’ lives (McNeely, 2016, pg. 16). It has been noted that many people do not stop to think about the horrible ordeals the refugees and their families have been through and that considering their side of things might make people more open-minded when it comes to accepting them.
With no end in sight to the conflict in Syria, the refugee crisis is only going to worsen before it improves. Nonetheless, the Syrian refugees who have arrived face a multitude of obstacles beyond the political, including adjusting to an entirely different culture, language, and environment. Fear has been largely misplaced when it comes to Syrian refugees and programs regarding their stay in the United States. Though terrorists have a variety of mechanisms for entering the United States, the intense and distant refugee screening process make it one of the least likely mechanisms for doing so. Citizens have a right to know how the United States screens potential refugees and what steps it takes to ensure that a potential wrongdoer is not among their ranks. States can and should consult with federal authorities to coordinate the placement of refugees in an effort to provide the best possible placement for them. But it is clear that the role of the state is to consult upon, not to approve the placement of these refugees. Humanitarian arguments aside, strong as they may be, states must permit the placement of refugees because they are part of a republic that has obligations to the international community. While governors indicate their acceptance of the legal order in a state of exception, it is important to note that a state of exception perpetuates anomie, which only serves to make chaos out of life; what kind of life is definable as more chaotic and anomic than the life of a refugee? In a country founded by refugees, and one that has been the cause of many refugee crises, our responsibility to refugees is certain. Benefiting from being a part of this nation comes with responsibilities. One of them is to provide refuge for those in need.
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