In the wake of the recent terror attacks, politicians differ over whether or not refugees are welcome.

One of the most vulnerable populations in the world, refugees, become more and more vulnerable with each terrorist attack. In the largest migration of people since World War II, refugees are fleeing their homes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other places for fear of war and persecution. The majority of refugees are from Syria, where ISIS is an everyday threat and President Assad’s barrel bombs are an even bigger threat. The Syrian government has killed far more people in Syria this year than the Islamic State according to the Washington Post.

The violence which has consumed the media in recent weeks in places like Paris, Beirut, and Ankara is commonplace for the Syrian people. As Somali-British poet, Warsan Shire, famously wrote, "No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land"

In the wake of a terror attack, fear is a natural response. It’s a human response. But that fear should not influence policies which negatively affect a population who has been displaced from their home because of the same root of that fear. Governments should not reject refugees for fear that they are terrorists. They too are fleeing violence. The fight against terror should unite us, not divide us.

GOP candidates have said many outlandish things about refugees, before and after the Paris attacks.

Marco Rubio wrote on Facebook, “We won’t be able to take more refugees. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t. Because there’s no way to background check someone that’s coming from Syria.”

Donald Trump tweeted, “Refugees from Syria are now pouring into our great country. Who knows who they are - some could be ISIS. Is our president insane?”

Ben Carson thinks we should ban refugees unless they are Christian. “There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror,” he said. “If there were a group of radical Christians pledging to murder anyone who had a different religious view than they, we would have a different national security situation.”

President Obama was clearly fed up and spoke out against these comments at an event in Manila on Wednesday. "We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic," he said. "We don't make good decisions if it's based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks." He continued to mock the Republicans saying, "Apparently they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America." He added, "At first, they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of 3-year-old orphans. That doesn't seem so tough to me."

French President, Francois Hollande seemed to share in Obama’s sentiment at a press conference on Wednesday. He says France will continue to take in Refugees despite the recent attacks.

“30,000 refugees will be welcomed over the next two years. Our country has the duty to respect this commitment,” he added that the refugees will undergo vigorous security checks. Hollande spoke the the country’s fear saying “some people say the tragic events of the last few days have sown doubts in their minds,” but he said that France has a “humanitarian duty” to help refugees. A duty that coincides with “our duty to protect our people.”

“We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values,” he said.

-Bronte P.


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