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How to Face the Worst Crisis Since World War II

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Kaden Liem

Professor Hardesty

English 103

2 November 2016                                                                                

                        How to Face the Worst Crisis Since World War II                        

        The next president of the United States will have to make the decision to respond to the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. The crisis in Syria couldn't be more serious. The viral videos speak for themselves, with a four year old boy pulled from the rubble of an air strike, “small, alone, covered in blood and dust...He doesn't cry or speak...He wipes his hand over his wounded face, looks at the blood...and he stares. The world is staring back” (Domonoske). A newborn baby being pulled from another attack, barely alive causing the medical volunteer workers to weep (Krol). While these emotional videos are becoming viral and spreading awareness about this horrific crisis, the facts rarely told are even more startling. With 250,000 dead in less than 5 years, and eleven million Syrians displaced, the need for help couldn't be any less urgent (UNHCR). This election will decide whether the United States stands by the words written on the Statue of Liberty, “ Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free,” or is succumbed by fear. Therefore the next president must accept properly vetted Syrian Refugees into the United States.

        Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party's nominee for the presidency has a clear and reasonable policy regarding Syrian refugees. While current opposition fears that these refugees have been radicalized and may be a part of terrorist organizations, Secretary Clinton bases her policy on fact and ideology not baseless fear. Secretary Clinton's policy is clear and simple, increase the amount of Syrian refugees accepted into the United States from 10,000 maximum to 65,000 while maintaining the strict two year vetting process. This policy is not only reasonable

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and safe but also maintains the ideology of acceptance the United States has practiced and

preached. This can be summed up in Secretary Clinton's  proclamation during the second democratic debate, “Keep Syrian refugees, we're a nation of resolve, not fear.”

        Donald Trump, the Republican Party's nominee for the presidency has a policy that is more in line with the fear mongering against immigrants that George Wallace put forward in his failed presidential bid. In any answers to the question about Syrian refugees and the horrific humanitarian crisis Trump immediately shifts to ISIS and terror groups. When pressed  in the third presidential debate about the horrors going on in Aleppo and what the U.S response should be Mr. Trump said he supported “safe-zones” in neighboring countries. This is a logistically improbable half step on the grounds that he wouldn't have the United States pay for these zones. Turkey and Germany however have spent over eight million on refugee camps for these desperate people and can not afford much more (Grey).  His policy regarding Syrian refugees coincides with his dangerous rhetoric. Mr. Trump's policy is to put an immediate hold on the Obama program that allows 10,000 refugees into the United States, and to not allow any Syrian refugees in because “we know nothing about them,” as he said during the second presidential debate.

        The rigorous vetting process refugees must complete to enter the United States renders the arguments against allowing these refugees into the United States moot. Mr. Trump claims that “we don't know who these people are” and further that “we don't know what the hell is going on.” This is factually incorrect and undermines the rigorous vetting process set by the Refugee Act of 1980 which is explained thoroughly by Robert Carey the director of the office of refugee resettlement (Carey). The process is so stringent that it takes a minimum of two years to allow any refugees into the United States. Also women and children are denied because of distant family members, such as cousins, uncles, or in laws that are linked to terror groups. This is

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 exemplified by Bryan Stanton, who agrees with the standards discussed by Robert Carey. A successful anthropologist, Stanton provides a touching example of how this strict vetting process declines people with no ties to terrorism because of distant family. Aya Abdullah, a fourteen year old who cares for her family of six younger siblings, was denied due to a cousin with terrorist ties (Rothman). Whether you agree or disagree that Aya should have been granted refugee status, her case speaks volumes to the strict vetting process outlined by Carey.

        The statistics regarding Syrian refugees and terror, as well as the faulty logic of the opposition, furthers the case for allowing Syrian refugees into the United States. The odds of being involved in a refugee terrorist attack are one in 3.6 billion as explained by the statistician Alex Nowrasteh in his Time Magazine piece, “ Americans' Fear of Foreign Terrorists is Overinflated.” Mr. Trump's dangerous rhetoric regarding refugees and a link to ISIS not only disregards statistics, but is logically incorrect. The argument's regarding Syrian refugee terrorism ties, are a “false analogy,” Ishaan Tharoor explains in his article “Trump and Pence's Opposition to Syrian Refugees is Based on a Huge Lie.” Tharoor takes Nowrasteh's statistics a step further by pointing out that Mr. Trump and his running mate Governor Pence argue that most terror attacks, such as the Paris attacks killing 137 people, were because of radicalized terrorists that infiltrated Paris as refugees. The assailants in fact were white European nationalists (Tharoor). By conflating terrorist attacks with refugees Mr. Trump is presenting an argument that is a false analogy. Looking at Nowrasteh's statistics, and Tharoor's logical analysis it is clear that the opposition is not only perpetuating fear while disregarding facts, but making illogical comparisons to further instill this fear in many Americans. For the opposition, the facts just don't add up and their perpetuation of fear is dangerous to American ideals and leaves innocent women and children afraid, starving, and likely to die.  

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