After attending Wake Forest’s Syrian refugee crisis panel on Oct. 6, I was greatly informed and shocked about this situation that is upon us. Though many facts and stories were shocking, I think the most shocking fact was that the United States has barely allowed any Syrian refugees to be admitted to the United States.
When one panelist said that President Obama would allow in 10,000 refugees, I thought that was a considerable and kind gesture. However, when she put that number into perspective, that those 10,000 refugees would only be one third of one percent of all refugees and that those 10,000 refugees would only have a 0.003 population increase in the United States, my mouth dropped. It is absolutely absurd that the United States has not done more to help the Syrian refugees. As the strongest and most powerful nation in the world, the United States needs to take a global stance and help by taking in a greater amount of Syrian refugees.
In turn, this would not only benefit the United States’ reputation, but hopefully other states would view the action as morally correct and follow in the United States’ footsteps. We need to lead the way and step up to help.
Although some people think that we can only admit refugees if there is a zero percent chance that they will cause any domestic problems in the United States, I completely agree with the panelist in the point that our national moral duty to help these refugees completely outweighs any possible chance of danger.
Although we are taking a risk by letting in these Syrian refugees, our moral reputation will finally be put right. Just as one panelist pointed out, we cannot sit back now and then in the future, when this is all over and something horrible has happened to all the Syrian refugees, feel guilty that we didn’t take action when we had the chance. We, as the United States, need to act now. On the other hand of this whole issue, I can perfectly see how letting Syrian refugees into the United States could create a huge problem. Not in the sense of the Syrian refugees themselves, but in the sense of all future refugees.
If we let in all Syrian refugees, does that mean we have to let in all refugees from every country? Do we only choose specific refugees to allow? Will there be any cap to admittance? If we start by letting in all Syrian refugees, we could easily run into problems down the road with future refugees and their admittance to the United States.
In short, the Syrian refugee crisis is a messy and complicated problem to be dealt with.
Yet, it is not one the United States can avoid.
Though many politicians and Americans disagree on how to handle the problem, we need to make decisions and act on them now so we don’t hurt the refugees or ourselves anymore.