The awful civil war in Syria has raged on since 2011, devastating a large portion of its citizens in the process. President Bashar al-Assad and his administration has used aggressive attacks and chemical weapons against citizens rebelling against the government. In the first five years of the war, the U.N. Envoy for Syria estimated more than 400,000 Syrian citizens had been killed because of this war.
Additionally, millions and millions of Syrian refugees have fled the country in hopes of finding peace and safety away from the place they have always called home. The U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees stated there are more than 22.5 million Syrian refugees worldwide at this moment — 24 percent of the world’s refugee population.
About two weeks ago, the Syrian government dropped bombs filled with toxic gas on Eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held town in the country, and killed or injured more than 500 people.
Then last Friday, the United States, France and United Kingdom launched airstrikes on Syria to damage their chemical weaponry plants as well as respond to the country’s attack on its own people.
“This is about humanity, and it cannot be allowed to happen,” stated President Donald J. Trump early last week regarding the decision to take action within Syria.
While I respect and agree with using our own country’s power and resources to address a humanitarian crisis killing hundreds of thousands of people, the United States is not addressing the issue completely.
There are more than 22 million refugees fleeing their country, traveling miles to safety and trying to find asylum in another country, yet the United States. has only accepted 44 Syrian refugees into our country since October 2017, the beginning of the fiscal year, and 11 refugees since January.
This is unprecedented.
In 2016, the U.S. resettled 15,479 Syrian refugees and 3,024 in 2017, according to the U.S. State Department. Also, back in September 2017, Trump lowered the refugee cap to 45,000 people — the lowest cap since 1980, when the modern refugee admissions system was established.
At the current rate, the United States. will resettled less than 22,000 refugees in 2018.
Caring about other people who are fleeing from their own government launching attacks against them and their families should not only be for show or to demonstrate power over another country.
If we are claiming to care about the Syrian people enough to get involved in their civil war, then why can’t we also take them in and give them a safe place to live?
If the U.S. wants to care for Syrian citizens and the injustices being committed against them, we should also give them a way out of their war-torn country.