Riley S. Colorado

Syrian Refugees

The topic of Syrian Refugees has grown importance over the past year, especially during this 2016 election. I wrote this letter to demonstrate why I find this issue important, and why everyone else should as well.

Dear Madame/Mr.President:

Recently in the media, Syrian Refugees have made the headlines numerous times. However, I don’t think the United States, as a nation, is doing everything we could to help these people. Can you imagine your everyday life being torn away from you in an instance, everything you knew is gone?When you finally find a safe place to go, you’re treated as a pariah.

Refugees need our help now more than ever. At this time last year, the refugee count was 230,671 while today it’s at 2 million throughout the world. Since the start of the 5 year Civil War in Syria, 4.8 million people have fled their homes to find safety. President Obama set a goal to let in 10,000 by the end of September 2016. On August 29,2016, the 10,000th refugee made way into the US. However, 31 of our own states have claimed refugees “not welcome” there.

Tragically, about every 15 seconds a Syrian becomes a refugee looking for a new place to call home. I understand that the vetting process is important, but that can take up to two years. Some of these families don’t have two years. In fact, 51.1% of refugees are age 17 or younger while children under the age of 12 make up 38.8% of refugees.

In September 2015 we, as a nation, accepted Maryam and her family who eventually made way into the US. They were relocated in New Jersey. After escaping their war torn home in Syria, they went to Jordan to live in a refugee camp which she claims was worse than living in the war. Her kids were beaten daily, leaving scars and bruises on one of her son's arms. When they were finally accepted into the US, they were unsure if they should go. They had been pushed out of their homes, forced to go a refugee camp, and were unsure if they should call US home out of fear. After everything they’ve been though they were scared to come here due to costs, and how they would be treated because of the stereotypes we put on them. They came, combated the stereotypes even listening to people in politics, the ones running this country, say such as, not even “refugee orphans under 5” should be admitted, says New Jersey governor Chris Christie. The family met friends who helped them with costs until they got their life back and track and this made them realize that “American People are among the best people in the world” her husband Fadel said.

Despite our own people and leaders talking down among these people, calling them lethal and terrorists, this family was able to find respect for Americans and for the country. Refugees are not bad people disregarding the stereotypes and I wish that more people would understand that. My hopes for you, as the future president is to find a way to make the vetting process faster yet still as effective. Some people don’t have two years for us to scan their backgrounds. I think it would also make a difference if you voiced about the things people can do to help. I would like to see you continue President Obama's goal setting for refugees and expand on it more. I hope as a nation you help us come together and provide help for those in need outside our country.


Riley S.