So Donald Trump is a crazy, racist, bigoted, misogynistic man who is a glaring indictment on how both money in politics and news channels using ratings to figure out what their top news stories should be are destroying our nation. That’s a given. But here’s a new side you may not have known about him: he also thinks Syrian refugees (all 4 million of them, I suppose) could be secret ISIS members trying to sneak into the US and “Trojan horse” us to death. Furthermore, if he became President, he would immediately ship them back to their war-torn country where they don’t actually have homes or businesses anymore so that their dictator/president Bashar al-Assad could continue killing, torturing, and starving them. Because he is a horrible human being.
There is so much wrong with this stance that I don’t know how to begin unpacking it. I honestly just want to grab him by the shoulders and shake him until he learns some sense, but that won’t help undo the damage of his words. So, in the spirit of creating positive change and exploding wrongful opinions, here’s the most comprehensive list I can give.
- Middle Eastern refugees are never terrorists in disguise. There has never been a creditable example of Middle Eastern refugees, migrants, or immigrants fleeing their homes to set up terrorist cells. Even suggesting that’s the case is just trying to get a rise out of people and further prevent refugees from getting the help they so desperately need.
- Syrian refugees are fleeing from ISIS, which is destroying their homes, businesses, killing them, and denying them religious, cultural, and individual expression. No refugee is going to pull a 180 and suddenly try to join them.
- Refugees are not migrating for funsies. They are migrating because they’re starving to death, they have no water, their president is actively killing and torturing them, they’re being targeted by ISIS, and their homes and businesses have literally been destroyed. They are migrating solely to preserve their lives and the lives of their families. It is literally a life-or-death matter.
- Refugees have nowhere to return to so Trump and politicians from Hungary, Poland, etc. can promise to ship them back, but there is literally nowhere for them to go. They don’t have homes. Their family has been scattered across several countries. Refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan are overflowing with refugees and quickly running out of food, potable water, and medical supplies. There’s nowhere to ship refugees.
- It is an internationally criminal offense to ship refugees back to their country of origin. According to Article 33 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, no state “shall expel or return a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” So Trump would be breaking international law.
- It is incredibly inhumane to try to return a refugee to their country of origin. They have left for a reason. That reason is to preserve their life and the lives of their lives. Returning them would be killing them.
- Refugees are not causing problems in Germany or any other country that has accepted them. Refugees, like immigrants, routinely don’t cause trouble because they are grateful to be safe, to have a better opportunity, and don’t want to cause waves that could result in their being expelled. So there’s nothing to worry about there. The only real problem is being able to economically sustain refugees, but if Turkey, which is smaller and less prosperous than the US, could accept nearly 2 million refugees and not immediately collapse, surely we could accept 10,000 and be fine.
So here’s the bottom line: Syrian refugees are simply people who need help. They need asylum. They need food, shelter, and clothes. They need to be able to work and earn a living. They need to be accepted and allowed to integrate into their new country at a rate of their choosing. But above all, they need to be protected from murderous dictators like Bashar al-Assad and heartless, ignorant, wanna-be dictators like Donald Trump. They need to have their right to live unmolested and restricted reaffirmed. And they should have that right.