Syrian refugees are a part of the 10.6 million refugees worldwide forced to flee their homes as a result of conditions in their country. The current number of Syrian refugees who have sought asylum in other countries totals 4.3 million (UNDP). This movement has been the greatest migration of people on the European continent since World War II.
Following the 2011 Arab Spring protests and the resulting violent civil war that followed, there has been an estimated 9 million Syrians who have been forced to flee their dwellings. Nearly half of these displaced civilians are still stuck inside the country, while the other half have been able to relocate to different nations. However, even those who have successfully made it into other countries are not guaranteed favorable conditions. For instance, those migrants who have been found attempting to enter nations without allowance are often placed in refugee camps that consist of mere tents and sparse food and water.
The cooperation of everyone in the international community to accept and assist refugees can help to reduce the number of people living in these conditions. However, the economic and increasingly political repercussions of accepting Syrian refugees has recently made this conflict incredibly polarizing. The expected economic burden of taking in thousands of refugees is overwhelming and the recent terror attacks in Paris that were carried out by the Islamic extremist group ISIS have made the Syrian refugee crisis even more controversial.
Using the hashtag refugee crisis (#refugeecrisis) to filter through Twitter posts on the subject, I was able to pull some examples of just how divided the international community is on the topic of whether to accept Syrian refugees into their nations or not.
— Alexis Tsipras (@tsipras_eu) November 27, 2015
Mr. Tsipras (above) advocates for the acceptance of Syrian refugees from all nations, especially those in the EU because of the international ramifications if the refugees are turned away. While Dr. Bloem (below) suggests that the economic burden involved with accepting refugees will derail international development aids like eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
— Dr Martin Bloem (@mwbloem) November 20, 2015
Mr. Singh (below) touches on the same humanitarian beliefs as Tsipras in his rebuttal of the opposition’s suggestion that Syrians should not come to their countries.
— ravinder singh (@RaviSinghKA) November 29, 2015
— Jimmy Bear (@JimmyBear2) November 20, 2015
The tweet from Mr. Bear (above) shows a response to the Paris attacks that lacks the fear of expected terrorist attacks from refugees that a lot of U.S. citizens had. This response directly opposes that of Mr. Gowdy and Mr. Rath whose tweets are displayed below. They make the claim that refugees will bring more harm and death to domestic civilians. They suggest that it is not worth it to invite these people into their country if there is even the slightest chance of danger.
Pres Obama says we're afraid of widows & orphans. I'm afraid of a foreign policy that creates more widows & orphans. https://t.co/SfBfTXEamX
— Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) November 19, 2015
#refugeecrisis If you had 20 grapes and knew 2 were poisonous and would kill you, would you still eat a grape? No, then why allow refugees?
— James Rath (@RathJames) November 20, 2015
Mr. Ferencz’ tweet below opposes the view of Rath and Gowdy, as he believes that one cannot equate being a Muslim to being a terrorist, and therefore one cannot assume all Muslim refugees will commit acts of terror or violence.
— Andras Ferencz (@mister_milford) November 20, 2015
The following tweets from Wulalowe and Aaron Quantz (below) touch on how past history should inform our handling with Syrian refugees. More specifically, they touch on WWII and how denying to help refugees is very similar to the poor treatment of Jewish people during and after World War II.
— Wulalowe (@Wulalowe) November 20, 2015
— #FeelTheBern (@AaronMQuantz) November 20, 2015
While the tweets above reference history from a few decades ago, the posts from Mr. Capps and AgriTech reflect the hesitancy from lawmakers and citizens to accept Syrian refugees following recent history, more specifically the Paris terror attacks. Capps points out that the majority of U.S. governors oppose refugee admittance, while AgriTech released a story that contributes to the overall reason for the widespread fear of accepting Syrian refugees, which is the possibility that they will commit acts of terror in the nations they relocate to.
— Kriston Capps (@kristoncapps) November 20, 2015
— Nexasphere (@AgritechMedia) November 20, 2015