Guest column: We shouldn’t slam the door to refugees

Alex Delaney-Gesing

Since the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 18, 26 Republican governors in the United States issued statements of their refusal to allow Syrian refugees to settle in their states. The reasoning? In the name of public safety and fear for potential terrorism, USA Today reported.

More than half of the states are included in this exclusion, including our very own state of Ohio.

The recent attacks in Paris have largely led to this decision, taken through actions like executive orders and requests to federal officials.

The fear for the risk of terrorism is understandable, considering what has happened within the past week. I respect that politicians of our country are simply looking out for American citizens’ safety, but one would think they could be a little more empathetic, especially with the support being shown for those in Paris.

How can they show no remorse for the thousands of refugees attempting to save their own lives, while simultaneously offering their condolences for the French? Does anyone else see the irony in this? It seems like a knee-jerk reaction similar to the internment of Japanese-Americans following Pearl Harbor. No one was quite sure who was or wasn’t a traitor to the country, so all Japanese-Americans were interned.

The Syrian people are fleeing their homeland for fear for their safety. They need a sanctuary. Why can’t we be a place for them to turn to? We could offer an open door for them to enter through and be safe from the threat of violence and terror.

Immigrating to the United States and other countries around the world is their solution. Weren’t the majority of our own ancestors immigrants just a century ago? Why should this be any different?

We’re a country of immigrants, a melting pot full of people from different countries, races, religions and more. Even our founding fathers weren’t originally from this land.

This nation is supposed to be civilized, setting an example for other countries around the world. We shouldn’t be turning people away. We should be welcoming them into our country. Now more than ever these people need a place to call a home, not a door shut in their faces.

Alex Delaney-Gesing is a copy editor for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]