The Paris terrorist attacks have triggered heated debates in Washington over whether United States should allow Syrian Refugees to enter the country, and also under what status. Following reports that one of the terrorists involved in the strike entered Europe as part of a wave of Syrians fleeing the country's civil war, Republicans on and off the campaign trail are pressing President Barack Obama not to accept the displaced people. In wake of current elections, Republicans are nearly twice as likely as Democrats to say the refugees should not be allowed to resettle in America. This is because they pose a sever security threat. Many Republican governors, meanwhile, have strongly opposed from letting Syrian refugees into their states.
Lets look at process through which refugees enter United States. Aspirants first apply under refugee status through United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the international body in charge for protecting and assisting refugees. The UNHCR essentially decided who merits refugee status based on the parameters laid out in the 1951 Refugee Convention, which states that a refugee is someone “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to garner protection of that country.
Then, the UNHCR refers a refugee applicant to the United States, the application is processed by a federally funded Resettlement Support Center, which gathers information about the candidate to prepare for an intensive screening process, which includes an interview, a medical evaluation and an inter-agency security screening process aimed at ensuring the refugee does not pose a threat to the United States. The average processing time takes about 18-24 months, however Syrian refugees are having a tougher time in this process as most of their information is missing. Once a refugee has completed the process, they are conjoined with a resettlement process in US to help them diffuse into the mainstream lifestyle of a country.
There are also implications in settling down of these new residents of the country. Firstly, the professionals such as doctors and lawyers lose their right to practice in the country as they have to follow the US process of writing the exams and following through with the process. Most are not fluent in English, and so are limited to laborious work where communication is at a minimum. One of the most difficult adjustments is to changes in traditional family roles. In many families, both the husband and the wife need to work long hours neglecting their homes and children. In many instances, children learn English and adapt to life in the U.S. more quickly than their parents. The process of adjusting to these and other changes is different for each person and can cause significant stress to individuals and families. Thus, sometimes merging into mainstream lifestyle can be a difficult period to overcome.
However, as powerful and influential citizens of the world, the US needs to recognize this as their responsibility. Its quite shameful that they are refusing these unsettled citizens of the world. Obama's spokesman has said at a briefing today for reporters on the president's trip to Asia that the president has been displeased 'with the way some politicians in Washington have sought to capitalize on a terrible terrorist attack in Paris to score political points.' He also stated the 'first consideration that the President is going to make is for the safety and security of the American people. A close second is going to be making sure that whatever policies we have in place uphold the longstanding cherished values of the United States of America.'
Furthermore, such strong opposition towards allowing these displaced groups only leads to hatred, biases and more terrorism in return.