America, a nation of immigrants turns its back on Syrian refugees

Every week the editorial board reflects on a current issue in Our View. The position taken does not reflect the opinions of everyone on the Hilltop Views staff. 

The ongoing refugee crisis has been in constant circulation in news and media outlets.

As the world speculates the game between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Western world, it is America’s turn to make a move.

There are many that are caught up in what will happen to American life if we open our borders to refugees.  

Refugees is a word that we put on these displaced people because then we characterize them as just that, and disconnect ourselves from the fact that they are people with families, they are people that have lost their homes, and they are people who were so scared for their safety that they fled to another country. 

They want to flee to our country because they need help, and we have, for years, advertised ourselves as the nation that seeks to help all. 

So have we been falsely advertising? Do we only help others when it benefits us? 

Fleeing a country is not something that just happens in one fell swoop. 

It is dangerous, it is frightening, and many refugees have died en-route to other places such as Europe. 

Imagine surviving the trip on an overcrowded boat, train or bus and getting to the country that has marketed itself as a benevolent nation, and then being sent back to the country you fled.

All around the world, countries are putting their borders up. 

Our fear of terrorism has stunted our humanity — we are more afraid of terrorism than we are hateful of it.

To what extent are we letting terrorist forces win, though?

In our attempt to “not let the terrorists win” we are forgetting that these refugees also do not want the terrorists to win. We are on the same team. 

They are running away from the same terroristic threats that we are fighting against.

While it would be extremely un-American of us to ignore these people in need of our help, it would also be un-American and stupid of us to ignore the possibility of ISIS or other terrorist groups using the refugees as a way to enter into the US or other target countries.

There would of course be security measures put into place — screening mechanisms are vital to the entrance of refugees; not only for our sake, but for the sake of the refugees as well.

When we shut our doors to refugees in fear of terrorism, we are being hypocrites. We are shutting our doors with the excuse of wanting to protect American lives but yet we are quick to send troops into war where the possibility of death is certain.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed some extreme measures of screening like requiring all Muslim Americans to wear badges. 

This idea sounds like something Adolf Hitler would have planned in his sleep.

Such a statement by a man who has a history of prejudice should be considered a hate speech. America has never been the nation that removes the freedom of some in order to guarantee the freedom of others and we certainly cannot start that in 2015.