Monday, August 29, 2016

The Safety and Security Argument for Syrian Refugees

The politicization of everything, especially the refugee resettlement program, is a tragic mistake that actually endangers our troops and our citizens both at home and abroad.

If that doesn't make sense to you, that's understandable given they hyperbolic nature that a few fear-mongering politicians have injected into our politics over the last few years.

In reality, it takes about two years for any Syrian refugee to relocate to America. There are so many agencies involved in the application and sign off process that only 2% are makes of combat age. That means the vast majority are women, children, the elderly, and orphans. 

How does the extreme anti-refugee rhetoric make Americans and our troops less safe? It fosters animosity toward these populations in America, further increasing the chances of radicalization. This is where the 'lone wolf' home-grown terrorists are fueled by the antagonistic environment and then radicalized online.
Abroad, it sends a message that America is hostile to Muslim refugees and is against helping the refugees of a situation that many believe we created. Certainly, the latter is debatable, and we can't really control the recruitment narratives that terrorists use, but why would we willingly feed into those narratives? 

These are difficult and at times emotional issues. 

+Wonderful World
If you examine the actual statistics, there have been only a very few refugees ever arrested for violent crimes and even fewer for terrorism-related charges. People will say even one is too many. The problem with that mentality is that it's a zero sum game mentality which negates responsibility for our own citizens. 

We have a rich history of accepting refugees into this country. We also have a disturbing history of denying refugees during times of fear and anxiety. 

Should we fear women and children looking for refuge from war and violence? Should we promote the American Dream and honor what is truly great about our American history in an intelligent, patient, and thoughtful way? 

I choose the latter. What do you choose?

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