I’d like to play devil’s advocate on the Syrian Refugees issues. I am in fact not against accepting refugees, but only wanting to ensure that the process of accepting refugees be fair, transparent and follow the due process. As an immigrant and as someone who deal somewhat indirectly with religious refugees, I am compassionate towards Syrian refugees, regardless of their religious faiths.
I’d like to play the devil advocate, because I’d like to challenge those folks who tend to think admitting and resettling refugees in the United States at all cost (many downplayed the security risk and scold those who show concern over security with a dismissive attitude) is the only way to demonstrate one has compassion.
Have we failed to consider: 1. that, Arab nations right there in the middle east should also share the responsibility, if not assuming the primary responsibility on the settlement of Syrian refugees, and that this should not be the burden of Western nations entirely; 2. that, “love your neighbor” as a matter of principle applies not to only to Refugees, but all the more should be to your fellow Americans, your neighbors in your immediate communities, whose safety should also be of concern to us as well, and not just a secondary concern to be easily dismissed (To use an analogy, if I show concerns only for people far away who I do not know and yet I neglect my own family members and their well being, what kind of husband and father would I be)?; 3. that many Syrian refugees’ identities and background are difficult to verify, how does the UNHCR verify these information and how does our federal government verify them? 4. that, we must keep our federal government accountable on how the UNHCR refers refugees to them and how they process these refugees for resettlement in the United States, we should not just take the federal government’s claims at face value.
This list of things could go on and on. Admitting 10,000-200,000 refugees in short period of time that are displaced is not small matter, and the bureaucracy involved in processing should be kept accountable. We should be compassionate, but not just to foreign refugees, but also towards our neighbors.