Imagine someone who has to leave their home, try to escape their country and have little hope of their life returning to normal. Today, there are more than 11 million Syrian refugees that live this fate. These Syrian refugees need help: homes, jobs, teachers and friends. Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, millions of Syrians have been forced out of their homes creating the largest refugee crisis since World War II (Norton). Children have been separated from their families. These refugees need shelter, food and more stability. We, the citizens of the United States can make a difference. Syrian refugees need our help.
It has been a long tradition for us to help refugees, so our country should let Syrian refugees live in the U.S. For example, in a letter Sen. Tim Kaine as well as a few other senators wrote to the U.S. president, explaining that, “Our nation’s founders came to our shores to escape religious persecution and the United States has a long tradition of providing safe haven to refugees.” The U.S. is made up of refugees and immigrants. If refugees were not allowed to come into our country in the past, our country would not be what it is today, a place where compassion towards other human beings can dominate. However, Garrett Marcel, author of an article about Syrian refugees points out that Syrian refugees are not U.S. citizens and therefore have no constitutional rights. This means our country does not have to let Syrian refugees come live in this country.
This is true, however, in “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens” when Poe Dameron asked FN-2187 (later known as Finn) “What are you helping me?” FN-2187 responds, “Because it’s the right thing to do.” (Abrams). Even though this is a work of fiction, this scene illustrates an important parable for us as a nation. We, humans, should do things because it is the right thing to do, the good thing to do, the humane thing to do. The reason should never be because we have to, but because it is right. Even if the United States has a duty to help the refugees, that should not be the reason why. We should help Syrian refugees because it’s the right thing to do, as a people, as a country and as a whole. If this country is so caught up on political views that it won’t let other people, just like you and me, have a chance at life. Then we have lost what we pride America on.
Fear of terrorism should not be the deciding factor for whether we will let refugees find a safe haven. Nevertheless, one of the main factors of not letting refugees in is the fact they could be terrorist, which is a valid point. If terrorist snuck into the United States with the Syrian refugees it could cause harm. Admittedly, this could occur, however, Alex Altman, a writer for Time wrote an article that interviewed people about how the refugee screening process works. The article informs that the screening takes up from one-and-a-half years to two years and that only over 50 percent of the refugees make it in, but more importantly it states how they make sure the refugees are not terrorists. Altman explains that every refugee goes through an intensive vetting process, but the precautions are increased for Syrians. Going through this intense screening process assures that no terrorist will make it into the United States.
A Syrian refugee who resettled in the U.S. a few years ago says, “America gives you the opportunity to do what you want to do and be what you want to be. It’s a good country. I feel like I have a future here.”(Romain) Let’s give this future to refugees who need it.
Pacific Cascade Middle School 7th grader