Writer: Roshan Setlur is a freshmen in high school, who is an avid member of his Model United Nations Club and wishes to use his voice to make a change.
How “The West” deals with Refugees and how they can proceed going forwards
As teenagers, many people don’t expect us to know much about the world around us. They don’t expect us to know about the Syrian Refugee Crisis, let alone the law and legislations surrounding refugees in western and developed nations such as the United States of America. With this article I hope to educate those that want to make a change but don’t know how to. Now, the main problems with the influx of refugees into western nations include a lack of infrastructure to accommodate and an unclear set of rules and legislations that apply to refugees, but the largest issue was exemplified by the Parisian attacks, perpetrated by the Islamic State, that occurred in November of 2015. According to the French government, one of the alleged refugees that they had granted asylum to was carrying a false passport and entered the nation illegally; only to wreak havoc. As a result of the fear brought on by these attacks, many states an autonomous regions, as well as nations as a whole, are refusing to accept Syrian refugees. This is detrimental to the refugee cause, for millions of people, 22 million to be precise, are continuously living in war-torn Syria, seeking opportunity in other nations. To their dismay, however, the governments of many nations are taking away these opportunities from refugees and are erecting walls, instead of breaking down barriers. The United States of America, however, under the leadership of Barack Obama, expects to welcome 10,000 more refugees to add to the already 70,000 refugees they already have settled into the nation.
The United States of America has a very long and strict screening process for taking in refugees, and offer an immense amount of help to the refugees through the cooperation with regional Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) to ensure the proper integration of refugees into society. Two major threats to this system in the USA, though, are defined through two important questions. These are “Can states limit the federal government’s resettlement of refugees” and “What are the likely political causes and effects of these refusals?”. Legally, under the constitution of the US, state governments are not allowed to bar refugees from settling in their state, however, they still do. Furthermore, if a state refuses to accept refugees, the entire refugee resettlement process is set askew. To give you an example, states such as Michigan and Texas, that, in the past, have accepted a majority of the Syrian refugees accepted by the US, have banned any refugees from settling there in the near future in light of the Parisian attacks. Such a trend has been seen in many states in the US, especially those with republican. This is partly due to the fact that many republican governors support the Republican platform’s anti-immigration and heightened-enforcement policies. In the end, the federal government has the last say, and it says that states cannot refuse to accept refugees. They can advise and consult on the acceptance of refugees, but the cannot refuse to admit them. To facilitate the settlement of refugees into states, the State Department and NGO’s work closely with state governments. Although the United States of America says that they will only accept 10,000 refugees in the next year, that is exponentially larger than the 0 refugees nations such as Russia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea (according to Amnesty International). I believe that we, as teenagers have the potential to make it known to our nation's’ government, no matter where we’re living, to not fear refugees, but accept them with open arms. Some ways to ensure the safety of citizens and refugees alike include following the United States model by executing strict background checks and issuing specific refugee passports to actual refugees. If we all come together and collaborate amicably, a better world can be made a reality.