Do As Americans Do: Accept the Refugees

Follow the evidence and, more importantly, your free conscience

I suppose I would have fallen into the same popular opinion, soliciting the government to send Syrians back to their homeland. That seems to be the response to the Paris bombing and the current refugee crisis. But refusing these refugees would be a total reversal of American idealism and, worse, a huge fail of tremendous opportunity. 

Angelina Jolie after visiting refugees of Syria

“The failure to end this crisis diminishes all of us” —Angelina Jolie, March 2015, after visiting refugees of Syria

On virtually every argument I have analyzed, the populist response has not been rooted in reality, but have instead clung to fear, prejudice and downright naïveté of the global situation.

How do I respond to fear, prejudice and naïveté? I typically snap into debate mode, and this debate couldn’t be easier. The evidence clearly paves the way to a solid American policy to accept Syrian refugees.

Do you disagree? Follow the links below, and chalk these rebuttals up in your mind. These will arm you against the faulty, populist arguments that may keep America from losing its way in this world crisis.

  1. “But there are so many refugees!”
    America typically accepts 70,000 refugees per year. Obama wants to raise this to 100,000. Compared to the 3,000,000 that have been absorbed by Middle Eastern countries and Europe, America’s pledge of support is petty. Opposition on this basis is insulting.
  2. “But the refugees are mostly men!”
    They’re not. But even if they were, realize that they are fleeing Syria and refusing to fight in the civil war. These men are the good guys in the fight, not the bad guys.
  3. “But they’re terrorists!”
    The bad guys are
    fighting the civil war. A third of the country is displaced, fleeing the people you should fear. And the idea that Paris was bombed by Syrians is now confirmed to be false. One of the terrorists was carrying a Syrian passport, but it was counterfeit. The Paris bombers were nationalists from France and Belgium.
  4. “But ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris bombing!”
    Of course, that’s what terrorists do.
    That’s their strategy, and it would be foolish to fall into line with it. Besides, just think about it: It is highly doubtful that the bombing was strategized from IS headquarters where they are currently being clobbered by the Russians.
  5. “They should apply and come legally!”
    They do. Refugees are heavily screened before being allowed into the country, arguably the most vetted screening process for anyone coming to America. This is not an open borders situation.
  6. “They’re only coming for welfare!”
    No, they are fleeing their once-stable nation. Refugees—contrary to what you may think—
    have historically been a benefit to our nation, not a drain.
  7. “They should go back to their own country!”
    Back to this? Their country is being bombed by ISIS, the Kurd Resistance, their own dictator, Russia, and now France. America has always accepted those who flee wars, and Syria is arguably one of the worst quagmires in history.
  8. “They are invading our country!”
    No, they are fleeing their war-torn country. It is a straw man to say this is some sort of
    Trojan horse conspiracy. They are refugees who have lost their homes.
  9. “The Christian thing to do is protect our own!”
    Really? This is what Jesus would do?
    Here is what the Bible says about refugees. If you are a Christian, you probably have prayed for the 10/40 window at some time. Now’s your big chance, because the 10/40 window is coming to you, and they are likely more open to Christian love than ever before.
  10. “I’m afraid!”
    This is one of
    the few honest responses I’ve seen. These folks are terrified of doing the right thing, of helping the most vulnerable people on the planet. For them, the terrorists have succeeded, and they are responding to a crisis with fear and trepidation.

American policy should accept Syrian refugees. Let them come, we will vet them, and we will love them through this most trying time for their home country. That’s what Americans do.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • David Carter

    Maybe I’ll have more time later but on the surface. #2 and #3 you assume that people fleeing are good and people staying to fight are bad, I’m sure the people still fighting there might disagree choosing to stay and fight does not make you bad and running away does not make you good. #5 and #7 Not sure why they need to come here, wouldnt our resources be better spent giving aid to the refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey 10,000 is not even a drop in the bucket to the hundreds of thousands already there the camps could use resources to make them more livable and ideally most can return home and build their country back up once the fighting stops. #6,7 and 9 Why as Christians is it not just a right to flood the existing refugee camps with people and resources that can help the refugees prepare for a life when they return home, why would it not be Christian to care for the women and old, educate the young and maybe even prepare those able to help take back there country. In the end there are no good and easy solutions it is as you stated a quagmire ultimately the solution to the problem is to get enough Sunni Arabs to stand up and defeat ISIS then forge some kind of peace with the Shia and Kurds while easing Ashad out of power…I just don’t think the solution can be found quickly, first step though should be crushing ISIS.

    • That’s what all the hyperlinks are for, David. My claims are all substantiated. You’re asking fair questions, but they’ve all been answered.

      • David Carter

        So your links prove that only bad guys stayed to fight and only good guy fled? There no good guys left in Syria? And your links prove helping people there versus helping people here is “more Christian” . Again it’s not something that can be discussed in depth over posts although you do dispell some common misconceptions but only then turn around and continue upholding others.

  • Mary Beth Niksic

    Glad to hear a voice of reason regarding the refugee issue as well as a well substantiated argument for Syrian refugee resettlement here in the States. As I was reading the abysmally negative poll numbers of Americans in favor of Syrian refugee resettlement it made me think of America’s history, at least since the Vietnam War, of taking in those who are fleeing war and persecution in their homelands. Although most Americans probably don’t know this, as recently as the Bosnian War (1991) and Iraqi war (1996) and the Somali Bantu resettlement (2002), the US has been resettling many Muslim refugees into our cities. Thousands of Bosnian Muslims were resettled across the country and have worked hard to build successful lives and raise their families here as well as the Iraqis and the Bantu. One of the best ways of coming to terms with our fear of the unknown is to confront it and it’s possible to do that by contacting your local refugee resettlement office and asking how you can help. As a former refugee resettlement worker for Catholic Charities we were always soliciting for help collecting furniture, clothing, hands on help with families and children, taking them to appointments, etc. There is so much that needs to be done for these frightened, worried yet determined people and we can be Jesus’ hands reaching out to help.