Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Case for Resettling Refugees

Unstable governments, drug-trade financed gang violence, and religious fanaticism are only a few reasons humans have found to go to war. The combatants are not the only people who are affected since others live in the troubled areas as well. These innocent people often find themselves in untenable circumstances having few good alternatives. As they flee their home to gain safety elsewhere, they become refugees. Those who have the resources to help refugees do not offer aid due to security fears and worries about economic pressures, ignoring their ethical responsibilities to help those in need. It is unethical to refuse to help refugees from war-torn countries because assisting refugees strengthens national security, these displaced people help improve local economies, and, most importantly, it is a humanitarian responsibility.
Groups fighting against resettling refugees primarily argue that the exiles are a security threat; however, when the United States accepts refugees from war-torn countries, the world is a safer place. As the United States provides assistance, stress on resources in other nations is reduced. This helps to ensure ongoing support for the displaced people by multiple nations. Additionally, getting into the United States as a refugee is arduous. Each refugee is selected through intense screening by the Department of Homeland Security. It is an exhaustive process that lasts up to three years. If there is any doubt, a person will not be admitted into the country. As the United States admits good people from war-torn countries, national security is improved because stress in other countries is reduced and only good people are admitted into the nation.
Beside security concerns, detractors also suggest the economy could not withstand the added stress caused by helping refugees; however, since only good, well-vetted people are given refuge in the United States, they are an educated, talented, and industrious community. As entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers, refugees contribute to economic growth and create jobs. The International Rescue committee reports that refugees are nearly 50 percent more entrepreneurial than people who are born in the U.S. (Why should America take in more refugees?). Additionally, the refugee system is set up to help them quickly become independent. These factors help support a community that creates jobs with higher pay than would exist, otherwise. Refugees help improve the economies where they resettle because they become self-sufficient quickly, and they contribute to their communities.
Although national security and economic fears remain the primary arguments against aiding refugees, many believe others will help if they ignore the troubles in distant lands. Nonetheless, helping refugees is a humanitarian responsibility everyone shares. In 1951, the United Nations refugee convention established protections for refugees from being returned to countries where they risk being persecuted. Since life preservation and basic human dignity is easily assured when good people are allowed to live in a secure atmosphere and provided the opportunity to work toward self-reliance, fulfilling this responsibility is easy. As refugees escape the dangers of living in war-ravaged, life-threatening environments, those who help them meet the responsibility to minister to the needs of the afflicted. What is better than saving another’s life? What greater responsibility is there than to help preserve humanity? Through helping resettle refugees, humanitarian responsibility is fulfilled like a modern-day good Samaritan. Humanitarian responsibility is the greatest reason to support the displaced and needy who are fleeing danger.
As humanitarian responsibility is fulfilled, economic growth is improved, and national security is preserved, people become the top priority, and countries accept the ethical obligation to help refugees. When this undertaking is shared by many nations, national and world security is improved. As refugees settle in new communities, they help strengthen and grow the economy. Each person holds a basic responsibility to minister to his neighbor’s needs, and as the needs of the refugee are met, this responsibility is fulfilled. Helping refugees from war-torn countries is the ethical responsibility of citizens of all nations.

(Republished from an essay written for ENG 106-1079 at BYU-I)
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