To call it a delicate situation might be an understatement. The flow of Syrian refugees into various countries in Europe and North America has been steady since the beginning of the conflict in Syria. The refugees are fleeing the fallout from a conflict between the United States and Russia inside of Syria. The United States is conducting airstrikes against members of the terrorist group ISIS, as well as arming rebels attempting to overthrow the tyrannical government of Bashar Al-Assad. Russian has been conducting airstrikes in support of Al-Assad’s dictatorship.
These countries have been generous with accepting refugees, but in certain countries their generosity is being stretched to extremes. Germany and Turkey in particular have already implemented laws limiting or outright banning the flow of Syrians into their countries, as the sudden mass influx of immigrants has weighed heavily upon the infrastructure of the countries accepting them. As one German citizen told CBS News, the unemployment rate in Germany is already high amongst its citizens, and the extra pressure of having to support immigrants is not helping the situation.
For its part, the United States has accepted a great deal of immigrants into its borders. According to the New York Times, the United States has allowed 1,854 refugees in since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011, and President Obama stated that the States will accept five times the amount of refugees in 2015 as it did in the past four years combined.
— CNN (@CNN) October 21, 2015
With the United States due for another presidential election in 2016, the number of refugees they accept may change once a new commander-in-chief is selected. Donald Trump, for one, has promised to crackdown on immigration laws in the United States, an issue many are divided over. Along the same lines, Trump recently warned the United States that ISIS could actually be planting terrorists in the States under the guise that they are Syrian refugees. According to the 2011 U.S. Census, there were approximately 11,562 Syrians living in the United States at the time. The numbers are on the rise, and will likely continue to go up as long as the Syrian Civil War is ongoing.
Comparatively, Germany has accepted slightly more than 100,000 Syrian refugees into its country, whereas Turkey’s numbers are closer to 2,000,000. Unfortunately, the countries have gotten little reward for their kindness, with some immigrants into Germany even claiming they are Syrians fleeing the war in order to get in. Unsurprisingly, the refugees’ journeys are not easy ones.
They come by boat as well as land, sometimes having to risk their lives in tightly packed vessels or pay excessive amounts of money to guarantee they get to keep moving. This money sometimes gets into the hands of poachers or other dangerous people, demonstrating just how determined the refugees are to keep on the move. Even though their struggle is difficult, it is oftentimes easier and perhaps even safer than remaining in war-torn Syria.
This year alone, the United States is preparing to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees, according to a statement by the White House. A White House spokesperson also mentioned that the United States is currently donating about $4 billion in foreign aid to Syria. This likely does not factor in the financial burden of the war in Syria, namely operating planes and paying the salaries of military personnel. Less wealthy countries such as Germany and Turkey are already feeling the toll, and it may not be long before the United States is close behind.
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