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Staff Editorial: Syrian refugees

How objectifying defines a group of people into something they are not

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What kind of people are we when accepting that an ultimatum to Syrian refugees–heck, even any other immigration wave–leaves America with some kind of deprivation? Let’s not forget our country was spawned directly due to colonial migration. So I suppose we take what we want, and kick out those unwanted, sounds like the values of a kindergarten playground club.

In the wake of the Saint-Denis, Paris attacks, government officials have reneged on policies President Obama placed in September that planned to resettle 10,000 refugees from Syria. With protection from the 1980 Refugee Act, state officials have no veto power against refugee immigration decisions the federal government makes. Rather a new sentiment suggests an attack is inevitable if refugees are accepted into the United States.
Nearly half of U.S. governors requested that the federal government stop refugee relocation in their states. Glenn Casada, chairman of the House GOP Caucus in Tennessee, said on Wednesday, Nov. 18, “…we take them [Syrian refugees] back to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), back to the federal government, and we say, ‘Gentlemen, make sure these guys have no tie to terrorist activity.’”

What Casada forgot to consider is the vigilant screening already placed on refugee applicants. Officials from the U.S. State Department, U.N. High Commission for Refugees, Department of Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center and FBI Terrorist Screening Center all interview and research potential migrants in a process that could last up to two years.
“The United States has to step up and do its part,” said President Obama in response to state officials’ refugee disapproval. “When I hear folks say that, well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders suggesting that there should be a religious test for each person fleeing from a war-torn country before admittance, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that’s shameful.”
Oppression is unquestionably a colossal precursor to fundamentalism. Both terrorist attacks in France (Saint-Denis and Charlie Hebdo offices) were committed by European Nationals, not Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants. The correlation between France’s high density Muslim population and secular law should be speaking louder than the scapegoating of war weary refugees.

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The student news site of Sierra Nevada College
Staff Editorial: Syrian refugees