United States divided over welcoming refugees as ISIS threat increases

The Islamic State (ISIS) is currently posing a great threat to the entire international community. Even though many individuals tried for many years to not recognize this monumental danger, the shootings within Paris were finally heard around the world and woke up every citizen to this problem.

Presently, ISIS poses the biggest threat to the global community and many questions and concerns have emerged from containing and combating ISIS and global terrorism. Since combating ISIS, the asylum of refugees from the Middle East has become a global topic and impacts not only the Middle East and its close regional ally, the European Union, but countries halfway across the world, such as at the United States and Canada.

While many countries have opened up their borders to refugees from the Middle East and North Africa in the past, many have also begun to close them in relation with the allegations against fake Syrian passports and the connection to the Paris terrorist attacks.

It didn't take very long for the atrocious attacks in Paris to prompt frightening responses from U.S. citizens about possible Syrian refugees being granted asylum within the U.S.

While some citizens agree with President Barack Obama that Syrian refugees should be welcomed into the U.S. as all immigrants were in the past, many American do not share this same sentiment and believe the U.S. should close its borders.

The U.S. within today’s world is concerned. The country and its citizens are concerned about the possible threats and acts of terrorism that could occur once Syrian refugees are given asylum within the U.S. These concerns and opposition do not come lightly within the borders of the U.S. and others countries around the world.

On Nov. 19, against objections from President Obama, the House of Representatives passed a bill called the American Security against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015. This bill will drastically constrict the security measures toward asylum seekers from Iraq and Syria.

As of November 2015, according to Time Magazine, 54 percent of the total residents within the U.S. said they oppose taking in refugees, and 52 percent of people are not satisfied or confident in the U.S. screening process for weeding out terrorists.

Related: How refugees enter United States

Although 54 percent of Americans do not want Syrian refugees to be granted asylum status within the U.S., some people, like President Obama, will welcome refugees with open arms.

Many believe President Obama should ignore and avoid the public clamor on the issue of Syrian refugees. Others believe that the U.S. government and President Obama are not fully considering the huge possibility that by allowing more refugees into the U.S., they are effectually putting the United States at a great risk of a terror attack.

The statistics also show that 73 percent of Americans support U.S. participation in militaristic operations against ISIS, while 60 percent support the use of ground forces. A shocking 81 percent of Americans believe that there will be a serious attack by ISIS on U.S. soil. American citizens have not reached this high level of anxiety since 9/11.

This is a concern not only to U.S. citizens, but to the governmental entity itself. The loss of public support for the government could mean a monumental disaster for the country, possibly leading to a civil war.

With these statistics, some Americans may change their minds and beliefs about granting asylum status to Syrian and Iraqi refugees. However, this is very unlikely. Many citizens are just sitting back and waiting to see how the government will react to the protest about closing the borders.

While we wait, our global community is still under attack and the fight against ISIS will continue into another day, other weeks and months to come.


Brittany Timney

M.Sc. in Foreign Policy and National Security Major at American University, Washington D.C. Cum Laude Graduate in Political Science with minor in Criminal Justice at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Intern for the Department of State, Intern for the Ambassador of Afghanistan at the UN, NSCS Founding President (FDU chapter), Volunteer for UNICEF and American Legion for Veterans. "I love to write because it allows me to provide global information to my peers and gives me the opportunity to voice my own opinion."