Syria is experiencing a mass exodus of citizens due to the current war-torn state of their country. Other Middle Eastern and European nations are stepping up and taking in large numbers of refugees, while the United States continues to twiddle its thumbs.
The United States has only brought in the pitiful number of 1,500 refugees to resettle in the country since the start of the war in 2011. Most of the refugees were settled in the U.S. just this year.
About half of Syria’s population has been displaced. That is 6.5 million Syrians displaced in their country, 4.1 million seeking refuge in other nations and over 300,000 people killed.
President Obama has announced that his administration is prepared to take in at least 10,000 refugees over the course of the next year. This number is simply too low for the United States to offer, as it can provide the needed resources and space for far more than 10,000.
Some European nations, like Germany, have been more welcoming to refugees. They originally planned on bringing in 800,000 refugees by the end of the year, but have since run into trouble with the an unprecedented amount of people and have implemented border controls in response.
Germany was unprepared for the unexpected amount of people and cannot keep up with the necessary resources and facilities. 13,015 refugees arrived on trains from Austria on Saturday and 1,400 followed on Sunday.
Still, Germany, a country that is not quite the size of California has let in more refugees over one weekend than the United States plans on bringing in over the course of an entire year. Their open border policy led them to experience difficulties, but that is why nations in the EU and the U.S. need to raise their numbers, so not all refugees are fleeing to a single country.
The Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, recently stated that they would take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years, but the number would most likely rise.
The administration claims that the reason the number of refugees allowed in this country is so low is due to the high number of anti-American militants in Syria, and the threat of terrorism. The intensive screenings and background checks that go into accepting a refugee can take up to 18 months.
While screenings are important, it is also vital that these refugees get settled as soon as possible, so they can carry on with their lives. Currently, many refugees are traveling from camp to camp, most of which are under-funded.
Some Syrian students are losing the opportunity to finish their university education. Syria has a unique education system where if a student receives quality marks, then their entire education is funded. But due to recent events, university students have had to leave school, and face the risk of not finishing their degrees.
Students that were once engineering or medical students are now working low income jobs. If students do not finish school, then Syria is going to lose a whole generation of young people that it will need when the country rebuilds itself.
The United States is a country with enough resources and opportunities to help well over 10,000 refugees. This country needs to re-evaluate the situation and realize what this loss will do for the Syrian future.
If the U.S. and other countries are able to step up and give refugees the resources they need to continue their lives, then Syria will have a better time rebuilding themselves when the conflict is resolved.