The United States should accept 65,000 refugees from Syria to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis created by the war there. People in Syria have a high risk of dying. Unaccompanied children have nowhere to go and no one to protect them.
Some people maintain that the United States does not have any moral responsibility, thus Massachusetts should not accept more refugees. For example, Donald Trump argues that “We don’t know who they are, they have no documentation, and we don’t know what they are planning.” The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research think tank based out of Washington, D.C., similarly argues that security is a major concern.
However, this perspective is simply discriminatory. They are not considering the lives of women and children that are dying and living on the streets. Additionally, in order for refugees to come to the United States, they have to fill out many applications and the U.S. investigates their background. In my opinion there is no risk of vulnerability or to security.
We know the value that refugees can add to American society. In a speech to the United Nations, President Barack Obama stated, “We’ve seen in America, hardworking, patriotic refugees serve in our military, and start new businesses, and help revitalize communities.” Refugees help build America’s infrastructure and economy. They contribute to America with hard work and business innovations. America is a powerful country today because of refugees.
We know that millions of people are dying and need help. In the same speech to the U.N., President Obama claimed, “More than 65 million people have been driven from their homes… which is more than any time since World War II.” It is clear that people in Syria need our help. They are dying because of the war. The conditions in refugee camps are abysmal. They face diseases, starvation, lack of protection and insufficient housing. If no one steps in and tries to curtail the problem, people will keep dying. Boys and girls will die without knowing what it is to be in school, get a diploma or play sports. We cannot continue to watch this crisis unfold.
Even though some people don’t want to accept more refugees in the U.S., I still believe that it would be both heartless and discriminatory if we do not accept them. We are talking about safety and basic human rights. There is nothing more important in this world than life.
The United States as a democratic and sovereign country should help ensure the lives of refugees and reform the discriminatory way in which we see immigrants. America was built by immigrants. Now is not the time to turn our back on the people who need us most.