Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free And Taste American Bureaucracy

This piece is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Rise News. 

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with post 9/11 American politics that curmudgeons in positions of power, including the governor of my home state of Alabama, would not miss the opportunity to bolster their popularity with a display of security theater at the expense of people in need.

It is not any less shameful, but not surprising. The most recent instance is the insistence of several governors and presidential candidates that accepting asylum seekers is a threat to the citizenry of the United States, in response to the most recent tragedy in the city of Paris. This would be a more understandable position if the attackers were from Syria, but this is not the case.

As of right now, Ahmad al-Mohammed is the only attacker who is suspected of being from Syria, thanks to the convenient discovery of his falsified passport, but French authorities are still unable to confirm the details regarding this man’s identity, according to the BBC. The other attackers, and the mastermind of the attacks, were all French and Belgian citizens.

“In order to disrupt the archaic narrative of our ISIS and al-Qaeda foes, and save a fraction of the 11 million lives made hellish by the sadistic al-Assad regime, the United States should jump at the opportunity to subject 10,000 people to our robust and slow bureaucracy.”

So let’s assume for a minute that Ahmad al-Mohammed was a Syrian terrorist who got into Europe by exploiting the overwhelmed asylum processing system, which is entirely possible, but not confirmed. Why utilize the asylum seeking process when it is much easier to radicalize disenfranchised people in the target country, as we see with most attackers in this instance, or simply utilize a temporary visa, as was the case with the 9/11 hijackers?

Refugees in the United States, after being referred to the United States by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) , asylum seekers are vetted with a Resettlement Support Center. After having biographic information taken, further screening can be done at the discretion of both the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.

DHS’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) then conduct a one on one interview with applicants. After approval from USCIS applicants are screened for infectious disease and often matched with a resettlement agency to assist in the process of integrating. Overall this process on average takes between 18-24 months.

Bearing in mind the complexity, risk, and time associated with the asylum seeking process, it seems likely that the response we see in the West was the intention of ISIS. It feeds into the narrative of a “clash of civilizations” and disenfranchises desperate people who have been: gassed, bombed, drafted, beaten, and generally abused.

Some have suggested that refugees be accepted on the basis of their religious opinions, which seems to get closer to the real issue of a fear of Islam or people of color in general. However, this fear seems unfounded due to the lack of acts of terror committed by the over 120,000 refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan, as of 2013.

In order to disrupt the archaic narrative of our ISIS and al-Qaeda foes, and save a fraction of the 11 million lives made hellish by the sadistic al-Assad regime, the United States should jump at the opportunity to subject 10,000 people to our robust and slow bureaucracy.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments below! You can also submit your own opinion pieces to editor@risnews.net and we may publish it. 

Cover Photo Credit: Freedom House/ Flickr (CC By 2.0) 

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About the Author
"John Massey has a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Alabama. His primary interest is in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but he also finds time to study French and political theory. "

One comment on “Your Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free And Taste American Bureaucracy

  1. AAron says:

    no refugees

Comments are closed.

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