Let’s imagine for a second that you’re sitting in your nice cozy home, relaxed and vulnerable, probably watching T.V. or preparing dinner or even dozing off into a nice nap… When a bomb drops. That piercing whistling noise alerts you only seconds before your home, your neighborhood, your entire life is demolished. Gone. Let’s say you were lucky enough, beneath all the broken concrete and memorable debris, to survive. You’re alive without a home. Without food. Without water. Without security. Now, imagine that exact scenario but with your family. Your children.
This is the exact same kind of scenario thousands and thousands of innocent Syrians are facing in the wake of their Civil War. No one seems to care. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The United States has the opportunity to accept and provide aid to thousands of Syrian refugees seeking asylum, and that’s exactly what the States should do with precaution and care, of course.
In today’s society, the threat of terrorism creates a nagging paranoia in just about every country. And that paranoia is not necessarily dangerous unless it begins to shape the entire mindset of the country. Self-preservation is smart, selfishness and fear is not. The notion, provided by Republican Representative of Georgia Doug Collins, that “we will not welcome terrorists” is not a durable enough argument when it comes to deciding whether or not to allow refugees into the United States (Collins). To assume all Syrians are terrorists is prejudice which is immature. Denying people their lives based on an assumption is cruel. Though the threat of terrorism is alarming to a country that has experienced the side effects of such cruelty like our own, by not helping those seeking aid in the wake of the Syrian Civil War, it’s as if the terrorists are winning anyway. Those seeking refuge are asking only for a safe place, and “we should work to utilize our resources and good intentions… to welcome them” (Collins). The lives of other human beings should not be denied on “what if” chances. A potential terrorist attack is not the same as an actual terrorist attack.
The Obama Administration has already set the “ceiling at 85,000, with 79,000 admissions numbers allocated among the regions of the world” as of September 29, 2015 for the Fiscal Year of 2016 (“Refugee Admission”). The United States can only take in so many refugees due to the amount of resources being provided, but helping a few thousand Syrians is better than helping none at all. The United States, among other countries such as Germany and Turkey, can offer a safer place for asylum seekers until their home country is calm enough to return to again.
Now that the answered thought “Should we accept refugees?” has been taken care of, a more difficult question arises: how? So how does the U.S insure the safety of its own country while simultaneously extending a welcoming hand to those fleeing war and carnage? Though immediate kindness seems nice, precautions cannot be overlooked and head counts of those entering the country on account of seeking asylum should be taken in order to provide the most effective assistance and insure the safety of the civilians here. The Philadelphia Refugee Health Collaborative states that refugees coming into the United States have help from several organizations to receive “initial health screenings”, to aid in building “a strong relationship with a primary care provider (medical home)”, and to potentially “catch-up to preventive care” (McNeely).
Instead of holding inaccurate and discriminatory prejudices and stereotypes against individuals seeking aid in times of war, the United States needs to do its job as a country of the world and help. Fear should not conquer compassion nor should fear be so deeply rooted in the American government. Good intention needs to trump the what if's of possible threat. Although it’s nerve-wracking allowing foreigners with no record into the country, think of the fear the innocent Syrians are feeling. The U.S is not the only party afraid. But standing together, with the Syrian refugees, against those who are threatening the States as well as the Syrians will make us all stronger. Together. It has come time for the United States to stand its ground by accepting and assisting those in need.