Syria Refugees Refused by States
By: Ruilin Chen
"Hidden Among a Wave of Refugees"
One of the Paris terrorists who killed over 120 people last Friday probably got into Europe as a Syria refugee. The bomber was let into Greece by faking his identity, claiming to be a Syrian named Ahmad al Muhammad. The two other terrorists in Paris held false Turkish passports. This led to another big problem: Should the thousands of refugees who may die otherwise be let in, or should they be refused for fear of terrorists being let into the host country?
United States Response
The governors of 31 states have said that Syrian refugees aren't welcome in their states because the risk of terrorism is just too high. President Barack Obama has said that "slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values" and that he "cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL(ISIS) than some of the rhetoric that's been coming out of here during the course of this debate." A religious test was proposed by Ted Cruz so that only Christian Syrian refugees could get in because "there is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror." The president reacted angrily, stating that this was outright offensive.
Potential refugees apply for refugee status through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. If the refugee meets certain conditions, they may be referred for settlement in the United States, where they would become a legal resident. Once this is referred, the application is processed and information about the refugee is collected. The refugee is evaluated through an interview, a medical evaluation, and a security screening process consulting nine different agencies to make sure that they aren't a threat to the country. The processing time usually takes 18-24 months. More than half of those admitted are children, and only 2% of those admitted are "single men of combat age." California has accepted the most Syrian refugees as of yet. Those who are arguing for welcoming refugees claim that the rigorous application process would keep terrorists out just fine.