We as a Nation are struggling to determine what we should do to assist the Syrian refugees as they flee the Assad regime in their home country. There are tens of thousands of people who need our help. Remember that they want what we want….freedom from fear. They want to be able to raise their families in a safe and secure environment. They want to be able to provide for their families. There is a humanness dimension to all of this. We cannot turn our backs on them.
We built on Nation by helping others. The poem on the Statue of Liberty says it all:
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
This has become our National heritage. We cannot turn away from this because we are afraid that there may be terrorists coming into the US with the Syrian refugees. This cannot be an “all or nothing” approach. Some folks are screaming “don’t admit anyone”. Others are screaming “admit them all”. There is a compromise.
Every refugee should be screened before being granted admission into the US. The issue with that, as the FBI Director clearly stated, is there are no good records that we can access to determine whether or not the refugee is a threat to the US.
Here’s an idea. Let’s use a risk management approach. Allow the women and children entrance into the US. They are probably not a major threat, and there is minimal risk with admitting them. We have heard the phrase “ Women and Children first” all our lives. Let’s use that in this situation.
Let’s delay entry of all military age males. This group is the biggest threat and poses the biggest risk. In operations in Iraq, we always focused on the military age males for more intense screening. Let’s ensure that those individuals are not a threat before they are allowed entrance into the US. In addition, let’s emphasize to that group that maybe they should return to their home country and fight to establish freedoms they desire there. Someone has to fight the oppressive Assad regime. How about them?