The Syrian Refugee Dilemma

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Following the horrific terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on November 13th, 2015, social media has been abuzz with strong opinions concerning the status of the Syrian refugee crisis. After reading strong opinions from both ends of the spectrum, I feel that it is time for me to voice my own thoughts on the issue.

There are, of course, those who claim that the malicious perpetrators of the Paris attacks are representative of the entire Muslim population. Such a belief is not only ignorant, but also, divisive. However, there is something to be said about exercising caution where the refugee crisis is concerned. There are common sense approaches that can be taken to ensure that the United States remains secure.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the individuals who feel inclined to be bleeding-heart humanitarians without considering the unintended consequences of their actions. In the eyes of these individuals, those who oppose President Obama’s Syrian refugee plan are bigots and xenophobes. However, there is something to be said about providing humanitarian relief to those who are truly in need. Following the atrocities of The Holocaust, the United States swore to stand by the phrase “Never Again”.

So what exactly is my opinion on the matter? With both sides providing valid arguments, it becomes difficult to discern the truth from propaganda. It becomes even more difficult when an election year is concerned. My approach is to look at the situation through the lenses of compassion, as well as, reality. All it takes is simple Google search to understand that the situation in Syria is dire. Innocent individuals of various backgrounds are being mercilessly slaughtered because they refuse to adhere to a radical interpretation of Islam. To not act is to deny the innocent from receiving mercy.

As important as it is to show mercy to those who are persecuted, we must ensure that the well-being of the United States and its citizens are the first priority. With that said, it would be ridiculous for the United States to allow Syrian refugees to enter the country without proper security precautions. As of this writing, President Obama has vowed to veto a bill that would ensure extra scrutiny for the refugees who wish to enter the United States.The President, and his supporters on the left, claim that such measures will over-complicate the process of allowing the refugees to enter the United States. After reading the bill (H.R. 4038, available on the U.S. Congress website) I came to the conclusion that the illustrated measures are common sense guidelines to guarantee a secure transition. Why should we let those in who wish to do us harm?

Wait a minute! This is where many on the left would begin to refer to me as a bigoted xenophobe. They would then make claims that I am holding the entire Muslim population responsible for the actions of radical factions. They would overlook the fact that, in reality, I believe that all individuals should be treated with respect regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. They would overlook the fact that my heart aches for the innocent lives that are being mercilessly massacred on a daily basis. Unfortunately, in many cases, so-called “compassion” on behalf of the government seems to earn more merit than individual-led efforts of compassion.

Correct me if I’m wrong but, I think that an intense vetting process is a small price to pay to ensure that individuals who are hostile to the United States and Western values are not permitted to enter the country. It is common knowledge that there are those throughout the Middle-East who wish to do us harm. Allowing thousands of Syrian refugees to enter the country without going through the strictest of security procedures would be idiotic at best. For those who might be wondering, my stance on this issue was the same before the news of the attacks in Paris.

In conclusion, I truly do pray for the innocent individuals who are trying to escape persecution. I have no problem with taking in individuals with whom we are 100% certain pose no security threat. I am a strong supporter of helping those who are truly in desperate need of our assistance. In fact, I would encourage everyone to visit the websites of the various organizations that are dedicated to aiding the Syrians who need our help. However, as far as the refugee debate is concerned, we must proceed with caution. As we move forward, we must balance security with compassion and look at this issue objectively, without invoking political correctness.