Op-ed: Admitting Syrian refugees is inhumane
“There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Since Jan. 20, from a leftist perspective, this statement could not be further from the truth. However distorted and misguided these fears are, I do legitimately believe that people are afraid for our future.
Liberals today are fearful of a Trump presidency. Much of this is due to the fact that President Trump recently fulfilled one of his campaign promises (unlike many politicians), in the form of blocking Syrian refugees from entering the United States. I write this article not to defend our new president on every issue nor to begin an ideological debate; rather, I write this to provide what little solace I can to those who do not understand how someone could possibly think that the actions our president took are a good idea.
The entire argument for accepting Syrian refugees relies on the fact that it is the ‘humanitarian’ thing to do and that it seems ‘un-American’ to not accept refugees, but this is actually quite the opposite.
It is, in fact, more humanitarian and more American to not accept Syrian refugees. This statement becomes quite clear when you look at the cost of hosting a refugee in the United States versus in a neighboring country to Syria. The Center for Immigration Studies located in Washington D.C. concludes that,“…in their first five years in the United States each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370 — 12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries.”
This data finds that, for every one refugee sent to the United States, 12 refugees could have been taken care of if they had been sent to a neighboring country. So, for every refugee that we “humanitarianly” save by accepting into our country, we are depriving the livelihood of 11 others.
On top of this, we are further destabilizing Syria’s future as a nation by accepting refugees. A United Nations survey found that “86 percent of the refugees had secondary or university educations.” The Washington Post reported that 70 percent of Syrians had completed training and further education after leaving high school. However, only 62.8 to 67.9 percent of Syrian citizens participate in secondary school.
This shows that the refugees leaving the country, on average, are much more well educated than the Syrian population as a whole. Instead of helping refugees by locating them to neighboring countries or creating a safe zone, we are making it less likely for Syrians to return to their homeland by sending them halfway across the world into the United States.
We have seen this happen before, in Haiti. As biased as the New York Times is, it still published an op-ed titled, “Migration Hurts the Homeland,” and in that article, it mentions that,“Haiti loses around 85 percent of its educated youth, a rate that is debilitating. Emigrants send money back, but it is palliative rather than transformative.”
Relocating refugees to neighboring countries is not just cost effective and helpful for the future of Syria, it is also beneficial for the national security of the nations that accept these refugees. Because of the incredulous amount of information that is unknown about the individuals arriving in such countries, places like Europe have had a crime epidemic due to a lack of criminal records and background checks.
Besides the well-known cases such as the Paris attackers who were able to kill 130 people and injure another 368 by posing as refugees, European countries such as Germany and Sweden have experienced a staggering increase in crimes such as rape. The extremely credible Overseas Security Advisory Council reports that in places such as Berlin, there were an increase in “drug related crime 19 percent; pickpocketing 24 percent; homicide 33 percent; and burglary 43 percent.”
When looking to Sweden, Gatestone Institute has declared that Sweden went from one of the safest places in Europe with 421 rapes in 1975, increasing by 1,472 percent to 6,620 rapes in 2014, while the population only grew by 18.7 percent.
Sweden is now considered the “rape capital of the west.” The only country that has more of a rape epidemic than Sweden is Lesotho, located in Southern Africa. The study concludes that this is due to the fact that those with foreign born backgrounds are 2.1 to 19.5 time more likely to commit rape than native born Swedes.
An additional benefit to helping Syrian refugees in safe zones or neighboring countries is due to the culture clash that has resulted in the epidemic in places like Germany and Sweden. Refugees are different from regular immigrants because they are not voluntarily emigrating to another country because they agree with that said countries’ values or core beliefs. Instead they are being pushed out of a war-torn area and are sent into a society that does not necessarily parallel their own core principles. This should be especially alarming to liberals, because the views of the refugee’s culture directly contradicts their own.
For example, “homosexuality is illegal in Syria and punishable by up to three years' imprisonment…” Syrian culture also forces women into marriage. “Syrian women and girls are made to accept marriages they may not otherwise consent to… Syrian law amplifies these pressures by requiring women to have the permission of their male guardian in order to marry; a provision not required for men…”
Admitting refugees only leads to less refugees receiving help overall, a further destabilization of Syria and the Middle East, crime and a culture clash that leads to distrust and a diminishing amount of social cohesion.
The idea of accepting refugees seems to be more partisan bias than it really is policy oriented. I say this because former President Obama, in 2011, stopped processing Iraqi refugee requests for six months. He temporarily blocked any further refugees from entering the United States from Iraq for this amount of time. The reason he did so was due to several dozen terrorists from Iraq having infiltrating the United States through the refugee program. The only difference? There was not a massive flood of protests nationwide, because he happened to be a Democrat.
Austin Cirillo is a freshman in the School of Public Affairs.