Syria, the U.S., and the Refugees

Since the initiation of the Syrian civil war back in 2011, over 400,000 casualties have been reported by the UN. Among these casualties are innocent men, women, and children who have lost their lives during the conflict. As a result, many Syrian refugees have fled their country seeking liberty and aid in other foreign countries.

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Despite several nations opening their borders to these fleeing refugees, the United States has adamantly continued to turn their back on these innocent refugees. Many American citizens make impetuous claims that allowing Syrian refugees would bring difficulties to the nation without providing any evidence or context, beyond those equivocal claims, the Syrian refugee crisis has become a humanitarian problem. As the world power that it is, the United States should open their border to more innocent refugees who believe in Liberty and American values that would benefit the U.S and are looking for salvation from corrupt governments and extremist groups that oppose American ideologies.

One of the benefits the United States would gain from allowing entrance to more Syrian refugees would be the economic gain the United States could take advantage of. In a study performed by the University of Notre Dame, researcher Patrick Gibbons noted that since the refugee act of 1980, around 3 million refugees have entered the United States. The final outcome of his study was that on average it only costs $15,000 dollars for a refugees longer term settlement, and that by their 8th year they have exceeded those costs. On average refugees pay around 21,000 dollars in just taxes once settled into the United States. Given that the two biggest age demographics of the Syrian refugees are children and young adults, this is the prime age for long term settlement of refugees who could greatly contribute to the economy. With Baby Boomers facing retirement, inducing young workers to the labor force would greatly benefit the U.S in the long run net wise.

While the U.S would benefit from allowing in Syrian refugees, the inhumane treatment Syrians are receiving in Syria alone justifies the entry of refugees into American borders. Constant Airstrikes from each side battling the war are causing several innocent bystanders to lose their lives. The amount of innocents dying is inexplicable and the amount of children who have lost their lives during the conflict is alarming. According to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 19,811 children have died during the ongoing conflict. This should not be happening with children given they are the future of this world, and from a personal perspective no citizen would wish this to happen to the children of America. Having the power and balance that the United States has, it should look to other nations for examples of the acceptance of refugees. CNN reported that not only neighboring countries to Syria like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan have opened their borders to millions of refugees but also European powers such as Germany, France, the UK, Denmark, and Sweden have opened their borders to several thousands as well. In comparison to the United States, CNN also reported that the United States have admitted less than 2,000 refugees since 2011. Other wealthy countries such as Australia are also allowing several thousands without any harm done to its respective country. America boats more financial and political power than these nations but admits a less number of refugees while many innocent women and children continue to suffer the consequences of the war.

Although, some people would argue that permitting Syrian refugees would run the risk of allowing terrorists into the country, they are wrong. Even though it is understandable why people would argue this and why they would have this fear it is not valid. Going back to previous evidence, since 1980 more than 3 million refugees from all over the world have been granted access to the U.S. Out of those 3 million not a single has been a terrorist or convicted of terrorism. The stigma that 9/11 has caused among American citizens has created a stereotype that is highly detrimental to public opinion but many people don’t know that the 9/11 hijackers came to the United States through student and tourist visas which are much more straightforward and easier to attain. The process of attaining acceptance as a refugee is much more complex and sophisticated thereby there is much more security and knowledge of the person being granted access into the United States. The vetting process takes up too two years for a refugee and the processing and information goes through the UN, US department of State, and U.S. department of Homeland Security. Most of the refugees that are seeking aid and look towards the United States for help are individuals who support American values and seek liberty, Liberty being one of the most important values upon which the nation was created. Allowing terrorists into the country should be the last concern pertaining the issue Syrian refugees.

Besides the benefits that the U.S could gain from accepting refugees, it is important to understand that not all people who come from the middle east are extremist terrorists. Most of the refugees coming into the United States are innocent children and young adults who can contribute to the nation and want to break away from the extremist control that haunts them back home. The United States doesn’t have to accept every single refugee in the world but they certainly should not turn their back and create an ignorance towards the thousands of refugees that are losing their lives. The United States needs to open their borders and offer help to those who are suffering from what is now not just a regional conflict but a humanitarian affair. The United States is one of the richest and most diverse countries in the world, people come to the United States seeking better lives and liberty, so why close the doors to those innocently seeking help.

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