Europe is begging the U.S. to help alleviate the refugee problem due to the crisis in Syria. I think the U.S. has a more imperative to step up. I support Obama's order to allow 10,000 refugees into the U.S. this year. In fact, I'd call for more. Do we need to verify identities and take precautions that we are not creating a terrorist yellow brick road? Of course. Here is where I am coming from. In the 1930's, America watched millions of Jews die at the hands of Nazis. The U.S. was divided. Rockefeller and the isolationists wanted to keep the Jewish immigrants out. FDR finally allowed some refugees to come here. There were rules. Jewish families generally had a to have a sponsor here in the U.S. that could vouch for them. How many Jews died because they had no place to go? It is absolutely unthinkable that we would stand by again and watch it happen all over again.
Now, I known there are several counter-arguments to allowing refugees to enter here from Syria.
1. The U.S. has its own problems. We cannot take in several hundred thousand poor and needing refugees from a foreign country.
My Response: This is generally been Trump's response. I have heard it from others too. Yes, there will be costs associated with taking in refugees. These costs can be mitigated via sponsorship plans, reductions in immigration visas from other countries, and by enhancing border security to reduce illegal immigration flow.
2. We could be letting in potential terrorists.
My Response: Yup. We certainly could. However, with proper security protocols in place, this is a minute threat. Certainly, it is a threat which can be mitigated against. However, I have heard people talk about freedom and liberty so, I have to wonder, is this hallow speak? Those who wish to comprise liberty for security deserve neither. Our policies must not be based on fear. Many of these Syrian refugees are middle class folk who have skills and just want to be safe.
3. We have too many immigrants here now and this would upset our culture and traditions.
My Response: A few hundred thousand, or even a million, refugees would not make a dent in our culture/traditions. First of all, we can make learning English mandatory for all refugees, as well as, U.S. history classes. We can place conditions on entrance such that refugees will be welcomed into the American fabric and, hopefully, will soon consider themselves Americans like nearly all the other immigrant populations before them.