In a bold move, President Obama called for the number of Syrian refugees taken in by the US to rise from 1,500 this year, to 10,000. This is due in part to international pressure from world governments as the migrant crisis intensifies. Many in the international community think Obama could take in far more refugees because of America’s size and wealth as a nation. Some are calling for the United States to follow the lead of Germany or Sweden, the two countries leading the charge in the acceptance of refugees fleeing conflict.
Not everyone thinks Obama should allow more refugees in, especially since ISIS has vowed to use the refugee crisis to sneak insurgents into Europe and the US. The question of where the refugees would go is less important than how they would be selected. Of the 4.1 million refugees displaced, the US would have to try and vet 10,000 refugees for relocation. House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul expressed concern with the plan, saying the US doesn’t have structure in place for vetting that many people.
Emotional tensions are high in the United States; many read the stories of children and families struggling to survive as they flee and want to help, but others worry that by offering sanctuary the US would be opening itself up to attack. These questions come on the anniversary of the attack on 9/11; those images are surely in the mind of many Americans as they think about the migrant crisis.
Others think the US should engage a larger role in helping the displaced people from the swath of conflicts in the Middle East. A recent opinion article published by CNN discussed the United States’ checkered history with humanitarian efforts. Some say the US has barely led the world in humanitarian work since the end of World War II. Not only that, but many see a link between Assad’s rise in Syria and America’s on-again-off-again relationship with maintaining stability in the region.
Many hope homeland security experts in the US can develop a system to vet refugees, so some of the families displaced by war can find peace.