I hate to admit this, but I spent the day doing something that even a person with half a brain would not do: read a bunch of crazy comments on various political blogs on the issue of Syrian refugees being allowed into the U.S. The consensus across the political spectrum was a loud and emphatic: hell no!
Many of the commenters believed that all Syrian refugees are terrorists; that they would be coming here to kill us; that our president is an idiot for thinking otherwise. The heck with compassion and American values! No way Jose … or should I say Abdullah?
Almost every Republican presidential candidate and Republican governor is opposed to the idea of letting Syrian refugees settle in the U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has stated he will be introducing legislation preventing Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
The details of Cruz’s bill are not yet known but in an effort to pander to his Evangelical base, he did agree we should open our borders to Syrian Christians. “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror,” Cruz said.
Government officials have stated that no Syrian will be granted asylum within the U.S. without a thorough vetting. Several federal agencies, including the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, the Defense Department, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are all involved in the process, which Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner recently called, “the most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States.”
The real issue boils down to one of trust; can our government screen out the potential bad actors? Consensus within the blogosphere seems to be a resounding “no.”
While I believe the gauntlet a refugee would have to run through is sufficient, the major concern of many otherwise sympathetic Americans is this: what about the children?
Muslims have shown a predisposition for not assimilating well into western society. Just look at the experience of most European countries. Muslims do not understand, nor do they seem to want to understand, western culture and its way of life. Most of what they see of western society goes contrary to all they believe. In a place where refugee children run the risk of being ostracized within their new country, the lure of ISIS through slick use of social media could very well find an impressionable ear or two. That should be the real concern about taking in the properly screened, non-radical parents.
Does our government have an answer for this “Muslim youth” question? I don’t know the answer but the debate we should be having on Syrian refugees appears to not be the “if” but the “what then?”
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