Elisa P. Illinois

Migrant & Refugee Crisis

Questioning the contribution of the United States in the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe and Africa

Dear Future President, 

What would you personally expect from other countries if the United States was not safe enough for the American people to live in? If all sources of governmental power were weak and useless, if the economy was non-existent, and violence was raging left and right, what do you expect from the world? 

Expectations are a great and seemingly difficult position to fill in governmental terms. When one fulfills his/her expectations, they are stepping up as a leader, a supporter for those around them. However in the American government, repeatedly, issues like the migrant and refugee crisis are questioned whether expectations of aiding the international effort is worth fulfilling. If it is worth helping European countries who are opening their borders to millions of refugees fleeing from their war-stricken homes and poverty. 

The answer is an unquestionable yes. I am an 18 year old girl who is told daily by her school, parents, and society that as a student, an older sister, a legal adult I need to rise up to my expectations. From taking advantage of my chance to an education, to be the role model of my younger siblings, and to finally maneuver the world of a mature adult, I am expected to attain all these titles. Therefore United States, as a country and government, is expected to rise up to the position of helping its sister countries, to aid those people in need without a government that can lead or protect them. These are some of the titles that the USA is expected to hold.

They are also the expectations that I have for the country that so lovingly accepted my family and me. We are immigrants from Austria and have traveled all around the world to finally end up in Illinois. I have always seen the United States as a country who accepts all kinds of cultures and people and willingly goes above and beyond to assist others in need. However words like refugees, immigration, and migration seem to put fear into the eyes of this government. Due to prominent acts of terror in the past and recent years, including all over the world, the U.S. government is very cautious of who they help or aid. I would assume that acts like 9/11, contribute to the fear of people from foreign countries with presently troublesome environments. Completely understandable, yet my home country, Austria, is accepting 85,000 refugees or more in asylums while also allowing many to pass through the country to other European nations. In total, there are over 1.4 million refugees distributed over the continent, with the majority in Germany, Turkey, and Sweden. However masses of refugees, with numbers adding up to well over 16 million, are also distributed within African nations such as Ethiopia, Kenya, and many other nations. I assume that most of these nation are also worried of terror threats, I personally know that Austrians are quite uneasy, yet the migration and acceptance of refugees has not stopped.

I know that there is an ocean that separates the majority of this global problem, yet the USA is still part of this world therefore it is also their problem. Americans are no different from those who come from Syria, Somalia, or Iraq. We are all people with jobs such as Doctors, Mechanics, or Firemen and women who have children, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles; who 99% of the time want to live a peaceful life. That 1% can not be the one reason to fear immigration and helping the foreign because if the United States was experiencing the same degrees of hatred and violence as the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa, that 1% would not matter. The expectations would be that other countries help the American refugees just the same as Syrian or Somalian refugees. 

Since 9/11, not one foreign immigrant was the cause of terror in the U.S., however it was 28 American citizen who were. Although these people did radically support a certain religion or movement in other countries, does not mean that the refugees fleeing this very place are terrorists or supporters. 

Is it fair to restrict refugees to 10,000 or restrict the aid to those people who expect the same help from you as would from them? I, as an immigrant, who was given acceptance and privilege to stay in this great nation, expect that the government allows refugees to temporarily find refuge here until their homes are safe enough to return home. These are desperate times, you and the government can not contemplate the risks any longer while the sister countries are all ready risking their nation's safety. 

Dear future President, I ask you, what would you personally expect from the world, what would you expect from yourself?