The Refugee Effect
It is true that America is a country of immigrants, but which immigrants? That is now being questioned after President Donald Trump imposed a 90 day travel ban to seven major Muslim countries on January 29th, 2017. One of the first countries to be declared banned was Syria and this made some people furious. For many Americans, the Syrian refugee crisis can be seen as an aid to our economy, while others see a danger to our country. But it might be best to look at all the facts and see that the crisis can have both positive results and negative ones.
First of all America is “A country built on dreams” of people fleeing their home countries to come here (“Syrian Refugee Issue: Pros and Cons”). The scroll on the Statue of Liberty says, “Give me your tired, your poor, yearning to breathe freedom. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me; I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" By that logic, Americans should be okay with the newcomers. There have been a total of 11 million refugees; most of which are children who have been forced to be part of the civil war in their home. The kids don’t get an education and have to fulfill their own responsibilities, such as getting their own food and caring for siblings. Rescuing children from violence, homelessness and starvation, women escaping from rape, violence and poverty are major pros to this situation. The Syrian Civil War continues to go on (since 2011), as more than 11 million people have either been killed or have been forced to leave their homes (“Just Do it; Pros and Cons Syria”). Just imagine if you were in their shoes?
Moeller Pastoral Ministry leader Mr. Joebgen believes there is a positive result to accepting theses refugees. He told me about a friend, a daughter of immigrants, making her 100% Syrian. Her father immigrated to the U.S. legally 30 years ago. She has a master’s in theology and works in campus ministry in the U.S. According to Joebgen, she is a wonderful, positive, and kind person. She contributes to the country’s economy and the democratic process. She does a lot of community service. She helps bring robust culture to the U.S. from Syria including food, dance, etc. Furthermore if she still lived in Syria, she and her family would be persecuted for being Christians.
There are some people at Moeller who agree that there is a negative effect to these Syrians. According to Moeller senior Joe Speed, there is no apparent positive effect. The refugees are going to keep doing what they do in their country. He is concerned on “How they would be housed. How would we know who to trust?”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said, "Our nation has always been welcoming, but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion (“Odyssey; Pros and Cons of Syrian Refugees in USA”).
Joebgen points out that "Anytime there is a large amount of people in the community, it will naturally cause change, which leads to tension.”
Another man that I interview is named Mr. Dan Dever, he teaches government and politics at Moeller. He believes that, “We are a nation of immigrants and freedom regardless where the person is from. This helps bring skilled people to our country.”
While some see all the positives to the refugees, there are those who say otherwise. The chance that refugees coming in may be part of the Islamic extremism that would help terrorists make contacts in the United States (“Just Do it; Pros and Cons Syria”). As Kyler Jost writes in his articles, Syrian Refugee Issue: Pros and Con, "We're foolish if we don't look at the facts of what's happening in Europe and do everything we can to protect our country and our people. If we lose the fabric of being American, then our country is no longer America.”
Without a doubt these refugees that have come to America have changed our country. There are people both Syrian and American who think that these people make a positive influence in our modern day life. As Mr. Dever says, “Statue of Liberty is the best welcome home sign to those coming into New York harbor to have a new life.” But there are some people who see it differently. Perhaps only time will tell how these Syrians will affect our nation.