I suppose I would have fallen into the same popular opinion, soliciting the government to send Syrians back to their homeland. That seems to be the response to the Paris bombing and the current refugee crisis. But refusing these refugees would be a total reversal of American idealism and, worse, a huge fail of tremendous opportunity.
On virtually every argument I have analyzed, the populist response has not been rooted in reality, but have instead clung to fear, prejudice and downright naïveté of the global situation.
How do I respond to fear, prejudice and naïveté? I typically snap into debate mode, and this debate couldn’t be easier. The evidence clearly paves the way to a solid American policy to accept Syrian refugees.
Do you disagree? Follow the links below, and chalk these rebuttals up in your mind. These will arm you against the faulty, populist arguments that may keep America from losing its way in this world crisis.
- “But there are so many refugees!”
America typically accepts 70,000 refugees per year. Obama wants to raise this to 100,000. Compared to the 3,000,000 that have been absorbed by Middle Eastern countries and Europe, America’s pledge of support is petty. Opposition on this basis is insulting.
- “But the refugees are mostly men!”
They’re not. But even if they were, realize that they are fleeing Syria and refusing to fight in the civil war. These men are the good guys in the fight, not the bad guys.
- “But they’re terrorists!”
The bad guys are fighting the civil war. A third of the country is displaced, fleeing the people you should fear. And the idea that Paris was bombed by Syrians is now confirmed to be false. One of the terrorists was carrying a Syrian passport, but it was counterfeit. The Paris bombers were nationalists from France and Belgium.
- “But ISIS claimed responsibility for the Paris bombing!”
Of course, that’s what terrorists do. That’s their strategy, and it would be foolish to fall into line with it. Besides, just think about it: It is highly doubtful that the bombing was strategized from IS headquarters where they are currently being clobbered by the Russians.
- “They should apply and come legally!”
They do. Refugees are heavily screened before being allowed into the country, arguably the most vetted screening process for anyone coming to America. This is not an open borders situation.
- “They’re only coming for welfare!”
No, they are fleeing their once-stable nation. Refugees—contrary to what you may think—have historically been a benefit to our nation, not a drain.
- “They should go back to their own country!”
Back to this? Their country is being bombed by ISIS, the Kurd Resistance, their own dictator, Russia, and now France. America has always accepted those who flee wars, and Syria is arguably one of the worst quagmires in history.
- “They are invading our country!”
No, they are fleeing their war-torn country. It is a straw man to say this is some sort of Trojan horse conspiracy. They are refugees who have lost their homes.
- “The Christian thing to do is protect our own!”
Really? This is what Jesus would do? Here is what the Bible says about refugees. If you are a Christian, you probably have prayed for the 10/40 window at some time. Now’s your big chance, because the 10/40 window is coming to you, and they are likely more open to Christian love than ever before.
- “I’m afraid!”
This is one of the few honest responses I’ve seen. These folks are terrified of doing the right thing, of helping the most vulnerable people on the planet. For them, the terrorists have succeeded, and they are responding to a crisis with fear and trepidation.
American policy should accept Syrian refugees. Let them come, we will vet them, and we will love them through this most trying time for their home country. That’s what Americans do.