U.S. Opens Borders to Influx of Refugees
Recently we have been hearing a lot about the Syrian Refugee Crisis and how only five countries—Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Jordan—are taking in the majority of the refugees, as stated by Amnesty International. This month, President Obama announced that in 2017, the United States will be welcoming 110,000 refugees from all over the world into our nation. Other countries around the globe are opening their borders and doing what they can to help refugees.
In the last five years, the United States’ average admittance goal, as listed on the U.S. Department of State’s website, for global refugees has been 70,000-80,000, so this new number will be about 30,000-40,000 more bodies than we have been admitting annually. This number began as a starting point and in years to come may increase. At the end of this month, the next fiscal year will begin and we will start to see if this number will be sufficient or if it will be exceeded over the next fiscal year.
The United States is certainly not the only country that is changing refugee admissions. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada has, since November 4, 2015, admitted 30,000 Syrian refugees, which greatly exceeds its average admittance of 12,000 of worldwide refugees per year. Of the 964,574 new migrants that Germany has taken in, about 484,000 migrants came from Syria (qz.com).
The BBC reports that more than 4.5 million people have fled Syria since the beginning of the conflict and are registered refugees. Turkey hosts more Syrian refugees than any other country in the world, having welcomed some 2.5 million refugees. Lebanon hosts about 635,324, Iraq hosts 245,022, Egypt hosts 117,658, and Jordan hosts 635,324 Syrian refugees (Amnesty International). These countries are also known for welcoming a great number of other displaced persons from around the world as well.
The next discussion, after number, is what to do with refugees once we have welcomed them to their new home. How do we help them establish themselves? What is our duty as a nation to help these people in need and what is our duty as Seventh-day Adventists to help the persecuted? On this campus we pride ourselves on being among America’s top universities for cultural diversity and having students from all over the world. Shouldn’t we be able to pride ourselves on looking out for those who are experiencing their time of trouble? We believe in a time when we will be chased out of our homes for our personal faith and we constantly hear that it could be any day. For the last four years, these refugees have been living our nightmare, having to flee their home and having countries close their borders to them. Let’s take it back to the Golden Rule and treat others as we would like to be treated. Give others the benefit of the doubt.