Syrian Refugees to United States Spark Controversy

November 24, 2015 7:23 am
by David Jakeman

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Waikoloa immigration attorney in the Pacific Ocean or a Miami immigration lawyer living not far from the Atlantic Ocean, you’ve likely heard the international discussion about the number of Syrian immigrants streaming from their war-torn country into Europe. The stories of long lines of refugees trudging through Eastern European countries, hoping to make it to European powerhouses such as Germany and Britain have played constantly in the news.

U.S. Immigration and Syria

The United States has not been subject to this mass migration in part because of the large bodies of water on both sides of the country. When President Obama announced that the United States would take 10,000 refugees, many European countries scoffed at such a low number. President Obama then decided to raise it to 100,000, but that decision has prompted many commentators to protest the president’s decision.

Of course, it’s election season, so anything is fair game for a political point. And riding his populist anti-immigration wave, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would not allow any Syrian refugees into the country. Such a position did not come as a surprise, but other Republican candidates have also come out against it.

Ben Carson, another GOP presidential frontrunner, has also said that he would not allow refugees from Syrian to come into the country because he fears that the refugees would be “infiltrated with jihadists.”1 Portland immigration attorneys likely remember that Carson also said that he didn’t believe that a Muslim could be president of the United States, so his position also doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Other Republican Opinions

Additional Republicans to make a stand include Ted Cruz, who argued that allowing Syrian refugees into the United States is “nothing short of crazy.”2 Ted Cruz explained that “there is a reason the director of national intelligence said among those refugees are no doubt a significant number of ISIS terrorists.”

There is no doubt that the situation in Syrian and its repercussions are complicated, and it is difficult to know the best way forward. It is strange to think that the current presidential primaries are talking about Syria when the situation there was also a significant issue in the Obama Romney debates. The disaster that is the Syrian situation does not appear to be getting any better soon, and the great power politics involved including Russia, Iran, and ISIS means there are significant committed interests at play. Unfortunately there are also millions of lives being affected, and it is unclear what could bring stability to the region.


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