Finding Hope Far Away

Victims of an attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Syria, Wednesday, August 21, 2013 (photo credit: AP/Shaam News Network)

At 2:45 am on August 21st, 2013, the city of Damascus became an abyss of pain and suffering from a clear mysterious gas. People cried on the streets because of the invisible warfare that raise civilian cruelty to a new level. Families stood in front of limp corpses filled with what would later be known to be toxic sarin, without any hope of saving their loved ones.

CREDIT: SOEREN BIDSTRUP/GETTY IMAGES

Today, this war torn region has driven millions of refugees to flee their homeland, in pursuit of a shimmer of hope. They leave behind their bombed homeland, their homes, their memories, and their families. What does the rest of civilization find? Washed up limbs, babies on shores, and refugees on boats, some traveling heroic routes just to touch the land of Europe. These refugees have left behind everything in their quest to change their lives after their violent past. Yet, what does society do? We shun them, leaving them stuck in the feeble Greece, which is already coping with an economic crash.

Currently, the European countries are in a dilemma: should they accept immigrants that have no home or reject them because of the potential threat of terrorism? This leaves many innocent immigrants in a predicament when they realize that the majority of European countries are refusing their entry.

They leave behind their bombed homeland, their homes, their memories, and their families.

Today, this war torn region has driven millions of refugees to flee their homeland, in pursuit of a shimmer of hope. They leave behind their bombed homeland, their homes, their memories, and their families. What does the rest of civilization find? Washed up limbs, babies on shores, and refugees on boats, some traveling heroic routes just to touch the land of Europe. These refugees have left behind everything in their quest to change their lives after their violent past. Yet, what does society do? We shun them, leaving them stuck in the feeble Greece, which is already coping with an economic crash.

Currently, the European countries are in a dilemma: should they accept immigrants that have no home or reject them because of the potential threat of terrorism? This leaves many innocent immigrants in a predicament when they realize that the majority of European countries are refusing their entry.

Refugees have always brought their talents and skills to their new homes, and this has greatly benefited those who have accepted them. Also, it is simply inhumane to deny these people who have suffered so much for a chance of a better life. Therefore, it is time for European countries to embrace these immigrants.

One key reason to support accepting refugees is their economic benefit that they bring, most notably their impact on wages. UC Davis found that when refugees in refugee camps were provided $126 annually, there was an increase of 63% in wages around these camps, mainly because the additional money facilitated trade in addition to the development of businesses. This was also concluded when the International Monetary Fund analyzed the GDP effect of these refugees, where some countries increased their GDP up to 0.5%. A reason for this would be as Chmura Economics stated, “Refugees are more likely to be entrepreneurial and enjoy higher rates of successful business ventures compared to natives”This is because they want to start a new life in their inhabited areas by starting new businesses. This allows for increased economic transactions, bringing up the economy, strengthening the country overall.

Those opposing the entry of refugees often use possible terrorism as an excuse. Although ISIS agents posing as refugees are a possible threat, a greater danger according to the European Union Institution for Security Studies is not the immigrants entering, but rather European people who travel to ISIS regions to become radicalized. Furthermore, according to Willa Frej of the Huffington Post, refugees entering the EU are properly screened before their arrival, allowing them to be checked for terrorism links, therefore indicating that the threat of terrorism by these refugees is virtually non-existent. By refusing refugee immigration simply because of potential terrorism, countries are denying the benefits for the vast majority because of the potential misdeeds from a paltry few.

We must remember the suffering and pain of these refugees above all else. Coming from backgrounds destroyed from the Syrian War, many are fleeing to these countries with no hope at home. By not allowing these refugees to seek asylum, we are being negligent on a global issue, which could soon escalate.

Furthermore, these refugees are suffering from the sheer trauma of the untold violence they have encountered. Dr. Peterson Henningson, a professor at the Technical University of Munich specializing in psychosomatic medicine stated that “There are three major potentially traumatic backgrounds: being involved in a war in Syria, being a refugee and arriving in a new foreign country.”. The jarring events of these refugees’ past have taken an extreme toll on their emotions and experiences. The Save the Children foundation found that 41% of refugee teens have thought of suicide. According to The Atlantic, PTSD impacts almost 50% of all refugees, inflicting the painful events over and over to the point of cruelty. These people need immediate help to alleviate their suffering and only a developed country can help provide care to aid these refugees’ transition from troubled war-filled lives to peaceful ones.

We must remember the suffering and pain of these refugees above all else.

America has taken the initiative to help these refugees, even though they are almost on the other side of the world. In the beginning of 2016, President Obama pledged to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the fiscal year and one month ago, the United States completed this pledge. Obama has begun to advocate other countries do the same. A US-led refugee summit, containing 52 nations spurred by President Obama has pledged to accept over 350,000 refugees.

The same action should also be taken by European countries who are currently resisting the entry of refugees to their countries. In 2015, over 1.3 million refugees tried to enter the EU, but many countries, including Greece, have received too many that they are unable to process them fast enough that they are stuck in holding camps, waiting months to become processed.

However, the best option is to be open to asylum seekers: those looking to reform their life after their traumatic past. As Obama said at the Refugee Summit last month, “This crisis is a test of our common humanity — whether we give in to suspicion and fear, or whether we see ourselves in another.”

View further immigration ideas at Immigration Station
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