February 21, 2024

President Donald J. Trump is reducing the number of refugees allowed in the United States to 45,000.

Last year, President Obama allowed 110,000 refugees to enter the country. Riverside alone has a population of 324,722. Santa Barbara, with a population of 92,000, has more residents than the total number of refugees entering the entire country — a country of more than 300 million people.

I will not tell you why the United States should accept all refugees who have lost everything and have nowhere to go. I will tell you this country is failing to uphold the reputation it has built over time with regard to its humanitarian efforts and powerful leadership status. As believers, we are failing to uphold the command to love one another as God has loved us.

You can’t choose when you want to be a loving neighbor or when you want to love your brothers and sisters as you love yourself. Don’t be lukewarm and only stand in the sun when it’s beneficial to you.

Agreeing with these refugee restrictions that are so low goes further than the “rational” or “popular” opinion that says, “We don’t know who they are so we can’t let them in.”

If you’re going to love your neighbor, love him or her all the way and don’t stop when you feel threatened. That’s not what God intended for us as his children.

Setting such a low refugee count is concerning because the majority are innocent people who have lost everything. The majority of refugees are not terrorists or people with an extensive criminal history. They are scared mothers with children who are emotionally and mentally broken. They are teenagers who need love.

As rational humans, we cannot think of refugees as just a term or a controversial topic. There are lives at stake with each decision we make and with each decision the Trump administration makes regarding the refugee count.

A lot of Americans freak out at the thought of thousands of foreigners entering their country but all of these countries welcome us with open arms when we sign up for a three-week volunteer program at a school teaching children how to speak English.

The number of refugees admitted into the United States is too low and, as Christ followers, it should not be something we accept.

The United States has more resources than Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey and Kenya combined, yet the world’s leading country didn’t even make the top-10 on the list of refugee-hosting countries.

Agreeing with this decision does not reflect a loving or empathetic heart; it reflects a hostile one with lack of humanity.

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