Column by J1 Reporter Kate Kellen
One of the greatest social issues of our time is the topic of immigration. Within the presidential debates we have heard arguments for why immigrants should be allowed and why the United States should ban immigration. The United States, and anyone else in good conscience, should allow Syrians safe passage into their country.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are 4.8 million Syrians that have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, and 6.6 million Syrians that are internally displaced. More than 470,000 Syrians have been killed and more than 50,000 of those are children. There is nothing OK with allowing these children to suffer and die.
With so many people starving in refugee camps and dying in their own homes, I would think that people would be inclined to help. But rather, we are seeing cold-hearted people turn Syrians away because “all Syrians are terrorists.” The fact that people can call other innocent human beings and children terrorists with no previous knowledge of them is wrong and unintelligent judgement.
Right now, we have screening systems in place before we allow refugees into our country that have proven to be very effective. We should not fear Syrians, because before they are Syrians they are human beings, and they deserve all the same rights as we do: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness .
The other argument people bring up is the fact that we do not have the money to help more immigrants; but, the truth is that we can afford to help so many more.
According to The Guardian, the six wealthiest countries in the world, which between them account for almost 60 percent of the global economy, host less than 9 percent of the world’s refugees, while poorer countries shoulder most of the burden. We have the money to help, but not the desire to save these people from their horrendous living conditions.
With more than 470,000 dead and 4.8 million Syrians scattered throughout the region, we are now facing the largest refugee population under the United Nations’ mandate.
We have the resources and the systems in place, and now all we need are the people of the United States to act as decent humans and welcome these people in distress into our country.