As Europe continues to struggle with a steady stream of refugees from Syria, Iraq and beyond, the United States is still debating a proper policy response to the crisis. It begs the question – what are the implications for accepting refugees in America on a large scale?
White House discussions regarding U.S. refugee policy have been held in recent weeks, but it still seems that the Obama administration is far from making a concrete decision.
President Obama has stated that the U.S. will accept around 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, but more longstanding U.S. involvement has yet to be confirmed.
In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, director of migration and refugee services of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops William Canny laid out some key ways that genuine U.S. involvement could greatly aid Syrian refugees.
“In addition, the United States can resettle a much larger number of the 4 million Syrian refugees than the 1,600 we have to date,” Canny says. “The U.S. refugee program could absorb as many as 100,000 Syrian refugees if the political will to do so existed. Security checks are in place to ensure that those resettled are not a threat to us.”
According to the UN, 7.6 million Syrians have been internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, and an additional 4.1 million have been displaced outside of the country altogether. The need for increased U.S. response is growing rapidly.
“A robust U.S. commitment to the resettlement of Syrian refugees would encourage other reluctant nations, especially those in Europe, to accept more and to keep their doors open until this horrific conflict can be ended,” Canny continues. “It also would show that the United States is not indifferent to human suffering and remains, as always, a beacon of hope to the world.”
– Alexander Jones