Seeking Refuge: The Debate Behind Syrian Asylum Seekers

A Fully Partisan Issue

If you’ve tuned into the primary debates recently, you may have noticed how fiercely divided our nation’s politicians appear to be on immigration policy. From the ever-eloquent and incredibly lucid Donald Trump insisting that Syrian refugees are a “Trojan Horse” for potential terrorists, to the compassionate and logical cries against fear-mongering by the likes of Bernie Sanders, the issue has made it to the forefront of political partisanship.

Why the Debate?

The Syrian Civil War has destroyed the lives and homes of millions of Syrian citizens. According to Worldvision.org:

  • 320,000 people have been killed so far in the war, 12,000 of whom are children
  • Infrastructure has been completely destroyed; hospitals and education have been wiped out, and the economy is in shambles
  • 6.6 million Syrians are displaced within the country, while 4.6 million are refugees seeking asylum in other countries. In total, 13.5 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian aid.

Those refugees who have found their way to Germany – making up a large number of the total population of asylum seekers – were initially greeted with Angela Merkel’s open-door legislation. However, since the mass sexual assaults in Cologne, debate has risen to a fever pitch in Germany, and across the globe.

American politicians look to the Cologne attacks to justify supporting a no-immigration policy in terms of Syrian refugees. Additional concerns – although largely unfounded – include the fear that an open-door policy will let ISIS militants into U.S. borders.

According to a recent Bloomberg poll, 53 percent of America respondents said they do not support President Obama’s plan to open U.S. borders to 10,000 Syrians over the course of the next fiscal year.

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The Hard Reality

Syrians make up a significant amount of the 10.5 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee from harsh conditions in their own countries.

In 2012, 46 percent of that number consisted of children. All of these people – as well as that great number displaced within their own countries – are in need of basic human necessities as simple as water, reliable shelter and clean clothing.

 

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