Relocate Refugees to America

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As a result of political conflict, violence and instability, displacement has reached a global record high. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 65 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. As the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time unfolds, our pain in hearing their stories is accentuated knowing that the United States is consistently retracting its assistance. Escaping their home country for the sake of survival, instead of finding sanctuary, nearly 5 million innocent refugees (from Syria alone) face closed borders. An additional 6 million are internally displaced. As 30,000 more people are displaced every day, it is crucial that we make progress towards resettling these refugees. However, President Trump has passed an executive order to allow only 50,000 refugees for 2017, a lesser quota than 100,000 under President Obama last year. Focusing specifically on Syrian refugees, out of the 4.96 million displaced Syrian refugees worldwide, the U.S. only accepts at most 8,000 annually. This goes against our values as Americans, as a country of immigrants, as a land of opportunity and as a part of the global community that can do more. It is absolutely unacceptable to move backwards; so this policy must change immediately. Please vote to support the U.S. government increasing the Syrian refugee resettlement programs by expanding annual quotas to accept at least 50,000 Syrian refugees.

In American society, false stereotypes dehumanize and create unjustified fear of Syrian refugees that affect our policy towards helping these innocent people. To contribute to solving global issue and address these detrimental stereotypes, we hope that you can vote to resettle 50,000-80,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. each year. Germany, Sweden, and numerous other countries have already achieved this number, so the U.S. is clearly capable of equal provisions. Additionally, given the role the U.S. has played in the crisis in Syria, its partial responsibility for the refugees requires supportive action not only in the form of financial aid, but involvement in resettlement services. Historically, closed borders lead to atrocities. In World War II, hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees were denied entrance at the U.S. border and as a result many, if not most, perished in the holocaust. We cannot let history repeat itself.

Progress in raising refugee quotas is delayed, in part, due to another key issue: the hurtful stereotypes associated with refugees. These damaging misconceptions are a result of xenophobic and false news regarding conflicts in the Middle East. According the Jewish Family and Community Services, a local refugee resettlement group, some refugees who arrive in the U.S. are treated so badly that they see a better life in their country of origin. By accepting more refugees, we can start the process of expelling these damaging stereotypes. As an elected official we, again, ask you to vote in favor of Syrian refugees. By doing so, you can humanize Syrian refugees in a way that many in power have failed to. Backing this cause includes opposing laws such as the ban on travelers entering the U.S. from the seven muslim majority countries in addition to statements directly blocking refugees from Syria. The ban, while it has been blocked, enforced the stereotypes of Syrian refugees as a danger to the U.S. and its citizens. While we do recognize the fears that some may have concerning the state of safety in our country by accepting more refugees. However, these claims lack validity and it is crucial to note that according to Politico since 1980 no Syrian refugee, or any refugee for that matter, has committed an act of terrorism on U.S. soil and as of 2017 the chances of an American being killed in a terrorist incident is 1 in 3.6 billion. If we continue to foster a hostile environment towards refugees, then it is increasingly likely that refugees will turn to methods of radicalization in order to feel accepted. Refugees are not dangerous, they are human just like us, and it is time we start treating them as such.

Ultimately, we want to open America to the Syrian refugees who are searching for a safe haven. We hope that you will continue to vote in favor of the Syrian refugee.

 



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