(Washington, D.C.) November 18, 2015 — In the wake of last week’s tragic attacks in Paris, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is alarmed that blame is being placed on refugees fleeing horrific violence and terrorism in Syria.
In the United States, many governors have announced their opposition to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their state and some members of Congress are threatening a government shutdown if the U.S. moves forward with plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees.
One of the proudest traditions of the United States has been to welcome the stranger. Through the U.S. resettlement program, we have provided a safe harbor to those fleeing violence and oppression, and an opportunity to make a new life in a country that does not just tolerate, but embraces, diversity.
“It is very important to realize that people who are coming to Europe right now—Syrians and others who are coming through—have left barrel bombs in Aleppo; they have left random attacks in Damascus, in Iraq, in other parts of the world,” says Fr. Tom Smolich, Director of Jesuit Refugee Service International.
We need your help as we call on policymakers in the U.S. to address the root causes of the Syrian conflict through robust political and diplomatic efforts across the region; continue to provide humanitarian aid, including food, shelter and access to an education; and welcome refugees, the most thoroughly vetted, and vulnerable, individuals arriving on U.S. shores.
Syrian refugees deserve welcome, not rejection