Syrian Refugees Should Be Accepted With Open Arms

The Syrian refugee crisis is still as prevalent today as it has been for the last two years, and it is time that the American government starts to embrace these refugees instead of leaving them to suffer and be without a place to call home.

While it is understandable that people are concerned about the potential dangers of accepting refugees into our borders with the threat of ISIS still lurking, people do not seem to be aware of the process refugees actually have to go through. For refugees to even be considered to enter the US, they have to go through a rigorous screening process which could take anywhere from 18 to 24 months.

First they have to apply to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, where only 1 percent of the refugees end up being recommended for resettlement into other countries. From there they might be referred to the State Department who does their own vetting process and interviews. Refugees are fingerprinted and put through security screenings by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Syrian refugees receive an additional screening called the Syria Enhanced Review. If refugees have made it through the entire process, they also have to go through a health screening before taking culture orientation classes, and then eventually being placed in America under refugee status. Throughout this entire process, which has been slightly condensed, each department is checking to make sure that the refugee has no terrorist connections and isn’t likely to be a terrorist themselves.

Sure accepting new people into the country can be a scary idea, especially when terrorist attacks have become more frequent. But these people are suffering while trying to find a new home and escape a place they can no longer call home. Other countries have closed their doors to them, telling refugees they will not be accepting into their country. America should not be on that list of countries. We should be opening our doors to Syrian refugees. While no promises can be made, with the screening process we have in place, it is unlikely that someone with ill intentions will be let into our country.

By not allowing Syrian refugees into the country, we are implying that we have no faith in the government’s ability to properly screen people. We have given up hope on the government to keep us safe. If refugees have to go through so much just to be accepted into the country, then we should believe that they are here for the right reasons and not to cause harm to us. They are the ones who are trying to escape the harm that has been done to them. They are searching for a new home. We should want to welcome them into our country with open arms and give them a place to call home as well.

Out of the almost 800,000 refugees that have been accepted into the US since 9/11 only three have been arrested for planning terrorist activities, which were all directed at other countries and not America. While this is clearly upsetting, accepting refugees into the country is not as harmful as people seem to think it is. Even with three people getting through the cracks, America was able to help so many people resettle and find a new place to live. We can’t let the idea of potential terrorists among refugees stop us from helping people who clearly need all the help they can get.

We should welcome Syrian refugees into the United States and should open our eyes to the fact that we could be helping many, instead of punishing thousands on the chance that one is harmful to us.