Should Syrian Refugees be welcomed into the United States? By Christy Shetayh

The destruction of a neighborhood in Aleppo, Syria
The United States border

Should Syrian Refugees be welcomed in the United States

Refugees are fleeing Syria and Iraq because of the danger the civil war in these middle eastern countries has created. People are fleeing to stay alive and out of harm’s way. They are being denied access to one of their basic necessities, a safe place to live. Although allowing native people, like Syrian refugees, into our homeland is frightening, it is our duty as American citizens to allow freedom to any persons no matter where they come from or who they are.

There have been many terrorists attacks and activities that have impacted many people. However, in all the reported terrorist attacks none were because of Syrian refugees or citizens that live or migrate to the United States. Yet, the reported terrorists attack have been caused by Saudi Arabians or people of the Saudi Arabian descent. Although, attackers in some terrorist attacks have carried Syrian passports or were thought to be Syrian, the passports were fake and the attackers were not of the Syrian descent. What is intriguing is that Saudi Arabians have been reported to cause harm and have already, yet there is no ban for them but there is for Syrians. The stereotype Americans have on Syrians was made because of the terrorist attacks and threats people who live in the same region have made. Some may say that Syrian refugees could follow in the footsteps of other terrorists, but no one can absolutely say for sure that they have the same intentions as them. However, most people, from experience, can say that the refugees’ intentions are to come to America for a safe environment and to feel protected. In fact, allowing refugees across the border has shown to have tangible long-term economic benefits. {Cohn, p.2}

Bashour and Julia Alkhal are two people that have a first-hand experience of the War happening in Syria. They are also my grandparents. They are currently living in Syria as the war is still going on. One day I was talking to them on the phone and I asked them about the conditions in the village they are living in. My grandmother, Julia, spoke out and told me that the conditions were horrible. She explained to me that my family and the other families in the village were locked in their house for about 3 days, frightened and worried. They were without water and power and some necessities. She told me that they were deprived of those necessities because of the frightening thought that if they stepped out of their house that they would be the next victims of the war by being blown up or shot at. My grandmother also told me how one week she hadn’t slept for 2 days because of the screams of families and the sounds of death and bombs outside her door. She told me that she and the rest of my family were frightened that if they went to sleep they would not wake up. Those are the conditions most families have to go through every day, even worse. My story does not ensure you that all refugees invited into the United States are harmless. It simply explains the conditions and the things Syrian refugees run away from. Some may say that those refugees may be running away from those conditions to start them here, but these refugees are fleeing their homes and sometimes their families to get out of harm’s way. It is not logical for them to come to the United States and go through the same conditions.

In 2014, 17,465 people alone have died from heroin and cocaine in the United States. {Bellware, p.2} 25,760 people died from overdoses on prescription drugs {Bellware, p.2}. These drug deaths were caused by poor choices. The deaths were not caused by Syrians refugees or any Syrian. 470,000 deaths are caused in Syria since the Civil War started in 2011.{Editorial Board, Washington Post} Drugs have caused more deaths than any Syrian refugee has since 9/11 and yet these things are still allowed and welcomed into the United States. The drugs that are the cause of so many fatalities are not banned nor are they prohibited from entering or being used in the United States, but refugees that have reported to have done no harm to the safety and security of the United States are being denied entry. So if the United States compared the number of deaths drugs, like heroin and cocaine, have caused to the number of deaths any Syrian refugee or Syrian has caused, they would be disappointed. The President and the vice president and all the members included in the executive branch are denying innocent Syrian refugees the right to a protected life. However, they allow these drugs that have caused multiple deaths to slip under the system. People afraid or against Syrian Refugees may say that although the drugs have caused multiple fatalities it does not mean that in the future Syrian refugees will not pose a threat. Although that is true and concerning, personal experience has shown that Syrian refugees only migrate to the United States to get away from harsh conditions, not create them.

To conclude, The restriction to allow any Syrian refugees into the United States is only creating harm and doing no good. The ban of Syrian Refugees into the United States disregards the chance for Syrian refugees to have a safe and better quality of life. Syrian Refugees deserve the opportunity to show that not all Syrian refugees have the intention to harm others. That said, Syrian Refugees should be allowed into the United States.


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