The past five years has left Syria a worn-torn country with its people fleeing their homes. Syrian nationals have become internationally displaced people (IDP) and refugees, however they have had trouble finding safe and welcoming countries they can flee to, and the United States hasn’t been an extremely welcoming host.
Now don’t get me wrong America has helped refugees. The Obama administration increased the number of refugees it will accept in 2016 from 70,000 people to 85,000 people, but many American citizens have been completely opposed to accepting refugees into the country at all. Americans have continually claimed that Syrian refugees are Muslim terrorist and have argued they do not want Muslims entering the U.S.
Syrians are not trying to penetrate and destroy our country, they simply want a safe place to live and raise their children. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency a refugee “is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” These people aren’t members of ISIS—they are fleeing from persecution and death.
Many Americans have supported presidential republican nominee Donald Trump’s suggested ban on all Muslims, preventing them from entering the country. In the second presidential debate, Trump claimed “Hundreds of thousands of people are coming in from Syria when we know nothing about them. We know nothing about their values and we know nothing about their love for our country.”
We know they qualify as refugees. We know they are fleeing a civil war and religious persecution, and we know the U.S. does not prevent any person from entering the country because of their religion.
According to the U.S. State Department “Refugees enjoy the same rights as others living in the United States, including freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of movement. You cannot be arrested or imprisoned for expressing an opinion, practicing your religion, or meeting with a group of your friends.”
Just like American citizens, refugees have the right to have and practice any religion of their choosing inside the United States’ borders. So why would we prevent Syrian refugees from entering the country on that premise?
According to a New America report “every jihadist who conducted a lethal attack inside the United States since 9/11 was a citizen or legal resident.” It doesn’t look like preventing Muslim refugees from entering the country will end terrorism, since our problem seems to be home grown.