Refugee Fear

Mercy Corps

Back in 2012, when I was still living in the States, I remember listening to the news about the people of Syria. Extremists were slaughtering hundreds of innocent women and children daily. Slaughtering. Innocence. Maybe it was because I had recently lost my mother, but this really upset and bothered me. I mentioned to several people that I didn’t understand why the U.S. or other countries weren’t helping these people. One of my friends asked, “Why should we?” In return, I said, “Because it’s the right thing to do. It isn’t any different from the Holocaust. We’re still talking about the horrors of the Nazi regime, which took place over 70-years ago, yet the horrors are still taking place today. Countries should be in there stopping these mass killings.”

Fast forward to 2015, and people are pissed, and oppose taking in refugees. I say to all citizens in the U.S. and Europe, turn your anger toward your government. If all these governments hadn’t sat on their asses for years now, letting the extremists build in strength and slaughter thousands, the people of Syria wouldn’t have left their homes. Other countries wouldn’t be arguing over taking in refugees. Wouldn’t it be smart to put out the fire instead of people fleeing and other countries feeling an economic strain?

Quick facts about the Syria crisis: https://www.mercycorps.org/articles/iraq-jordan-lebanon-syria-turkey/quick-facts-what-you-need-know-about-syria-crisis

In the U.S.

I have spoken to several people in the U.S. regarding the refugee crisis. They heard how Germany had taken in hundreds of thousands, and could sympathize with Germans who oppose the refugee migration.

Getty Images – http://www.independent.co.uk/

The one thing that really bothers me is when people claim fear as a reason to refuse refugees into the country because some might be terrorists. But terrorists are the least of the U.S. problems. Obama and past presidents keep talking about the horrors of mass shootings yet haven’t taken action. One should think we would have woken up after Columbine and the government should have made it a priority. Sandy Hook. Twenty killed and the others scarred for life. Government should start working on the important issues: gun control, gangs, mental illness, and illegal immigration.

Instead, mass shootings increase each year. Shootings are considered a mass shooting if 4 or more are shot and/or killed, not including the shooter. In 2015, there were over 300 mass shootings in the U.S.http://www.shootingtracker.com/Main_Page: 367 killed and 1,317 injured.

Since 9/11, there were nine terrorist attacks in the U.S.http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/05/terrorist-attacks-by-islamists-in-the-us-since-911: 46 killed and 321 injured.

The fear of refugee terrorists doesn’t have much validity when you look at the bigger picture. Just like Donald Trump doesn’t have much validity, but is using fear to gain ground in politics. He is suggesting the outrageous because … well, he is outrageous, just look at his hair. When we give into fear, we will wind up imploding.

The problem isn’t the refugees coming into the country, but militant extremists who had left to fight with ISIS then returned. Those people are a threat to national security, not the ones running for their lives. Make it known to all U.S. citizens and permanent residents that if anyone travels to extremist countries, they will not be allowed into the U.S. for a year and will be monitored. This doesn’t affect their rights because we already do this for diseases. Citizens are tested and quarantined regarding outbreaks, such as Ebola. Terrorism is an outbreak too.

In Germany

Merriam Webster’s definition of refugee

“one that flees; especially :  a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution ref·u·gee·ism play \-ˌi-zəm\ noun

I have a friend who isn’t happy about the refugee crisis. She doesn’t care for Angela Merkel, especially her decision to open Germany’s borders to the  refugees. My friend and I were discussing the refugees in Germany. She started complaining about Romanians where she lives, who throw their garbage all over the place. I stopped her and said that Romanians are part of the EU. They are allowed to live in Germany as long as they can earn their keep. If not, then the government sends them back. It’s not fair or correct to lump them in with refugees. These people didn’t want to leave their countries, but had to for their own safety. They’d love to go back home. On top of suffering through the elements to get to safer lands, there are anti-refugee groups in Germany wreaking havoc on some refugee camps.

I understand the frustration (U.S. has their own welfare issues) knowing some people migrate to Germany to live off the welfare system, but those are EU migrants taking advantage of the situation. Germany has taken in around 1.1 million refugees (Syrian, Afghanistan, and Iraq). Due to slow processing, others have hopped on the coat tails of the refugees.

Activist Post

It’s taking so long to process these refugees, but it’s partly the local government’s fault. Where I go for my German Visa, the offices are only opened until noon, except for one day. Maybe if they extended their hours during this crisis, the processing of refugees would move much faster. Plus, tweaking the policies a bit to fit the crisis would help too. While they’re waiting, give these people some community work for a small compensation, so they’re not sitting around day in and day out. It would help them get to know where they’re at and spruce up the city. Trust me, there’s lots of garbage all over the place that could be cleaned up.

On top of slow processing, it’s mandatory for all children and teens to attend school. My husband is teaching German to one refugee class, and the school is receiving two more classes, but other teachers are teaching Physics, Math, etc. Some of my husband’s colleagues can’t believe how clueless the refugees are in their subjects. Really? How the hell is anyone supposed to take different courses when they don’t even understand the language? Concentrate on teaching German, integrate them into society, and then worry about other subjects.

Photo by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

The refugee crisis is frightening because of the sheer numbers pouring in. But governments, who we all vote for, are responsible for keeping us safe, along with taking care of those in desperate need. That’s why we vote for them, so we should also hold them accountable. Don’t point your finger at someone who is struggling, when chaos occurs because of poor government choices, planning, and organization.

Humanity and Understanding,
Baer Necessities

8 thoughts on “Refugee Fear

  1. I think the refugee crisis at the current moment is incredibly saddening. Especially because we have allowed it to come as far as this. I think we should have done more before it became to this big of an issue. But it seems like humanity constantly makes the mistake of ignoring the issue until it directly involves them. And even then, some people are turning away in ignorance. We all share the same earth and I think we should all be doing something to help these poor people!

  2. I had no idea how bad things were until I started seeing the photos of Syria—or rather, what’s left of it. My heart goes out to the refugees. I think we should ALL be willing to extend a helping hand and welcome them here.

  3. This is such a well-thought out post. It always seems like big issues like handling refugees get handled in a reactionary way rather than getting to the root of the problem. Sadly, that’s how much of the world functions. The point you make about subject-area teachers getting frustrated because the refugee students is true all over the world. Students who don’t yet speak a language are set-up to fail. The immersion model says integrate them into the classroom, but the majority of teachers either haven’t been taught how to adjust lessons for language learners or they simply don’t. It would make much more sense to place new non-speaking students in day-long language and communications classes to help bring their speaking ability up to par, but as with all things in education, nobody can agree on the right course of action, which only hurts everyone in the end.

    1. Jeri, You’re absolutely right about things being handled in a reactionary way.

      As like everything else, I believe integration is taking one step at a time. It’s a waste of everyone’s time to teach subjects when the students don’t even know what you’re talking about. The German classes are the best way to get the students comfortable with their environment and the language.

  4. Well said, and very true. And as mentioned, it doesn’t help that people like Donald Trump, who have no credibility whatsoever but have such a huge speaking platform (and people actually LISTEN to him), get away with saying things like all refugees are evil terrorists and then more people have no problem saying screw the refugees.

    1. ABFTS, Thanks much. You’re right. Trump is a major problem, an embarrassment, a loser, and I don’t understand how the American people want him. Because he talks about the damn wall, everyone’s jumping on-board. I’ll admit, I’m very much opposed of illegal immigration, but I wouldn’t jump on Trump’s bandwagon. Just him as a person, not even as a president, is someone I don’t like let alone have him represent me as an American citizen. He calls people names, he never has a solution to anything, only blah, blah, blah. I think if I met a Trump supporter, I’d really want to punch them in the face. And I’m not a violent person.

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