Allison G. Michigan

Syrian Refugees

My letter is about allowing the Syrian refugees into the United States.

Dear Future President,

We are America. We are a “melting pot” of religion and ethnicity. We are known for helping countries in times of crisis and bringing foreigners into our nation who deserve a better life. We are the country with the “American dream.” How can we be the nation, we are known as if we don’t allow refugees to have the opportunity for a better life full of freedom and wealth? I believe Syrian refugees should be allowed into the United States after background checks and questioning.

Why are we afraid of people who are only looking for a safe place to raise their children? What happened to the compassion we once had towards nations in times of war? Syrian families have had to choose between safety and freedom. Imagine being a parent and you hear that the government had begun to torture a group of students for writing anti-government slogans, and people who had nothing to do with it were being tortured and killed. You would have to get used living in the middle of a civil war. You would have to get used to the constant fear that your children could be taken away from you or their lives ending in a blink of the eye. Imagine having to make the choice of whether to take your children away from their homes and make them go through hell, or leave them in the middle of a war in hell. Imagine if this was your life and your child’s life. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it?

Americans have become so used to having constant protection from our government that it’s hard for us to imagine a war on our doorstep. Because of this we have a constant fear of our security; sometimes rational and sometimes not at all. Local Fox News Anchor, Bill O’Reilly believes that we don’t want Syrians in our country because of security, not religion or ethnicity. To me, this excuse for not letting Syrians into the United States is irrelevant. I understand the fear of strangers coming into our nation, but they are strangers because of their ethnicity and religion. The United States is full of “strangers” or people that make us question our safety and well-being. What about the black man walking late at night with his hood on and a slight lean in his walk? What about the white officer holding a gun to a black man’s head? What about the Arab walking with a backpack in the airport? All of these people, and more, are constantly discriminated against. We can’t pretend that we don’t take ethnicity and religion into account anymore. We do; whether we mean to or not. Security is not an excuse anymore; nobody will ever be guaranteed 100% safety no matter who is in our nation.

What if one of the refugees could be the change we need? What if they could get our nation out of debt? What if they created a cure for cancer that is permanent? Families like the al-Haj Alis leave their thriving businesses in order to better their lives. If we don’t let them in into our country they never even get the opportunity to do so. Are we afraid that they will take the jobs we want? In Syria, Mahmoud al-Haj Ali had a booming locksmith business and would be retired. Today, him and his family are living in a temporary home given to them by the government, and they are barely making ends meet. Mahmoud and his daughter work long hours in a warehouse in order to scrape by because the government’s help with rent and relocation are not enough. If Mahmoud and his daughter were able to come into the United States he would be able to become a locksmith again, and begin having a stable income again. If we were in their situation we would want a chance for a better life too, and who knows, he could create a new lock technology that could increase our level of security. So please, Mr. or Mrs. President, I beg that you take into account what these refugees are going through, and how allowing them into our nation could benefit them and even us.


Allison G.

Royal Oak High School

Royal Oak Ravens

High school juniors and seniors from Royal Oak, Michigan.

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