Refugees and immigrants have been under high surveillance and heavy media coverage in light of the terrorist attacks in Paris and ongoing attacks faced in several mid-Eastern countries, such as Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq.
To no surprise, the United States has called for stringent new screening procedures on Syrian refugees as of Thursday. Gaining an overwhelming vote of 289 to 137, the new bill calls for the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and director of national intelligence to confirm whether or not a certain applicant is a threat to the country. This will prove incredibly difficult to implement, and will cause for an even more sluggish immigrant application process.
The immigration issue remains to be one of fear-mongering and falsely-placed ideology. Since 2012, only 1,854 Syrian refugees were admitted into the United States, many of them placed into states that are no longer willing to accept them. Many of the arguments that oppose the country’s acceptance of Syrian refugees claim that more Muslim immigrants could potentially “threaten” American culture. However, no other country seems to have this fear; they also don’t seem to be suffering from admitting more refugees.
Within the same time period, Germany has admitted over 90,000 refugees while the United States has admitted under 2,000. This, however, does not necessarily indicate how the United States stands when it comes to taking in refugees from other countries. 70,000 refugees have already been admitted into the country over the last fiscal year, two percent being from Syria. This, ultimately, shows misplaced and irresponsible action.
Unfortunately, the United States has chosen the purist Christian ideology and burden of a capitalist, consumerist economy to prevail over our compassion of four million Syrian refugees, fleeing from war, poverty, and famine. Safety for Americans has become a choice; for those fleeing war-stricken countries, it is not. We will send our money, but not our empty homes. We will send our prayers, but not our freedoms.