Miscellaneous

A Young Refugee Perspective

This short but powerful clip illustrates the unfortunate truth that generations to come have been scarred by the horrific actions in Syria. The impact of the tragedies in Syria affects international relations for many years to come and the fact is, the United States has to care. The mental health of children refugees needs greater attention in the media than the crimes committed by individual refugees. With the grave injustices experienced by refugees, it is a horror that the population is still painted as undesirable. Looking at the children in this video is a good start to examining the impact of being a refugee and a good way to fully appreciate the resources that need to be made available in resettling refugees.

Miscellaneous

The Importance of Mental Health

Here’s an informational video on the embodiment of trauma that refugees endure. Often times, the media may sensationalize refugee populations to the point where public opinion believes that refugees are barely human. By categorizing refugees into this villain like place, it is easy for the individual experiences of refugees to be completely ignored and overlooked. Therefore, the importance of telling the stories of refugees is crucial so that a population is not minimized. The mental trauma that refugees endure is extreme and highlighted well in this video, we encourage you to watch to gain a fuller understanding of the refugee experience.

Miscellaneous

More than a Drain on the Economy

Many individuals argue that refugees pose a threat to the American economy, claiming that they only absorb resources and are not contributors. Watch as this family tells their story about making a living and think about the stimulation they cause in the economy.

Refugees show an incredible amount of resilience and in the face of hardship, find many ways to continue to support their families. Despite facing many barriers to success, this family has managed to grow a business which supports their family and their surrounding community. Many myths are perpetuated in the fear mongering around accepting refugees. Talk of refugees being a drain on U.S. resources is often core to discussion. However, this family demonstrates that refugees do not intend to merely accept help. Refugees look for the structure that they have lost from being displaced and realize that they need to find new ways to subsist. The robust U.S. economy is not just drained from refugees but it is bolstered by their activity in the market.

Refutation

Privileged Anti-Refugee Sentiment?

Anti-refugee are highly prevalent yet it is incredibly difficult to find individuals willing to articulate the sentiments overly on the internet. Americans, by 60% to 37%, oppose plans for the U.S. to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees who are trying to escape the civil war in their country according to a Gallup poll. Additionally, the current president ran on the premise that he was going to strictly prohibit refugees from entering the United States. Therefore, many individuals clearly share the idea that refugees should not be resettled in the United States.

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Mary Doetsch argues in an opinion article that, “Despite claims of enhanced vetting, the reality is that it is virtually impossible to vet an individual who has no type of an official record, particularly in countries compromised by terrorism.” Though Doetsch may technically be correct about the reality of the vetting process, the actual reality is that this is a structural vulnerability faced by refugees, not a tool that they access at their convenience.

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Doetsch argues in the same article that, “Nonetheless, during the past decade and specifically under the Obama administration, the Refugee Admissions Program continued to expand blindly, seemingly without concern for security or whether it served the best interests of its own citizens.” Though the program to resettle refugees may have expanded very rapidly and perhaps suffered some consequences from that situation, the fact remains that the United States is fulfilling its duty to international citizens.

In his article, Matthew Osnowitz argues that, “Just because we are not morally obligated to accept the Syrian refugees does not mean that we should not let the refugees into the country.” Ultimately, Osnowitz reaches the conclusion that the United States does not have a moral obligation to let refugees into its borders because there are ostensibly other countries which have opened their doors to them. However, the United States does have the resources and capacity to resettle refugees and doing so would be more beneficial than detrimental. Though Doetsch argues that refugees policy is not tight enough, she fails to consider the fact that the United States should be trying its hardest to view the situation from those who are in vulnerable positions of suffering as opposed to privileged views.vlad-tchompalov-219131.jpg

Miscellaneous

Travel Ban Policy – Facts vs. Fear

The recent policies pertaining to refugees is makes it extremely difficult for anyone who needs to escape the harsh living conditions in their home countries. In this video from Vox, President Trump’s original executive order for the travel ban is explained.

The executive order is called “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” however this is not what the order is actually saying. The order bans immigrants and visa holders from seven primarily muslim countries. These countries include Syria, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Iran and Iraq (Iraq has since been removed). The catch with this order is that none of this does anything for the United States’ national security.

There have been zero terrorist attacks by immigrants from any of these countries. Doctors, students and actors who have done nothing wrong cannot come back into the US even though they have a full right to be able to.

Although the order states that it will be in place for 120 days, Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely. This is not something that America has been known to stand for in the past. The United States was built on being a safe haven for people that can no longer survive in the countries they are living in.

Several celebrities have spoken out about the ban such as actors, singers, comedians and writers. Actress Angelina Jolie wrote an informative and insightful op-ed piece for The New York Times titled Refugee Policy Should Be Based on Facts, Not Fear. She discusses both sides of the argument in a way that it tasteful and informative.

I’m proud of our country’s history of giving shelter to the most vulnerable people. Americans have shed blood to defend the idea that human rights transcend culture, geography, ethnicity and religion. – Jolie

While it is justified to say that our country should be safe from the dangers of the world, there is no reason why the actions that are taken to ensure this safety cannot apply to others as well. It is important not only to the citizens of the US but of other nations as well that the policies that are enforced are based on facts and not fear; fear will not save anyone no matter where they are from.