The recent terrorist attacks against Paris and other locations devastated the globe. After millions in Florida and elsewhere rallied to support France and renew their stance against senseless terrorism, fear began to take hold. Could refugees hoping to escape violence in their home countries be trusted? The future began to look uncertain for countless hopeful refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. Many Americans did not want to allow anyone in the country who were nationals from countries largely controlled by terrorists.
Recently, the House passed a bill to suspend the refugee program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country, at least until they were deemed not to be a risk to national security. Most Republicans and a growing number of Democrats approved the bill and also voiced opposition to President Obama’s refugee policy after the terrorist attacks. In response, Obama has called upon the American people not to be caught up in fear and panic, claiming that much of the bias against refugees is based on an exaggeration of the risks and on public hysteria.
The bill would most likely prohibit any refugees at all from gaining entry to the U.S., and also may affect those from countries that are approved under the visa waiver program, states the FBI. Senator Harry Reid has begun rallying support to block the bill, saying that refugees are not the problem.
The upcoming weeks will undoubtedly continue to shape American view toward refugees. The answer to ending terrorism remains unclear, but compassion toward those who are suffering has always been part of American culture.
Source: CNN, “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees,” Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett, Nov. 19, 2015