President Obama Says U.S. Will Still Accept Syrian Refugees
By Veronica Carr
President Obama said that the United States will still accept Syrian refugees, even after the deadly terrorist attack in Paris.
The president made these comments during a press conference after the G20 Summit in Turkey Dec. 16. Several Republican senators have called for the United States to stop admitting refugees into the country. Furthermore, senators from Alabama, Michigan, Texas, and Arkansas said they will not allow refugees to resettle in their states.
“When I heard about the terrorist attacks, I was in shock. Paris is the city of love, not war,” said Te Lincoln University senior LaTia Tucker. “Sure, it’s a scary situation, but that doesn’t mean you isolate people because of one group. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your religion is, anybody can be a terrorist. Terrorism is extremism, not religion.”
However, Lincoln junior Cornelius Pearson, III believes that the Republicans are justified in their reasoning.
“It’s a somewhat rational fear they have that maybe some extremists did infiltrate the refugee camps and are pretending to be refugees,” Pearson said. “But, they should not let a group represent an entire religion.”
On Nov. 13, over 100 people were killed when ISIS suicide bombers attacked a soccer stadium, a concert hall, and numerous bars and cafes around the city.
Immediately after the attacks, French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and closed the country’s borders. He announced his plan to introduce legislation that would extend the country’s state of emergency to three months, which would also ensure that the borders were closed during that time.
Seven of the terrorists were killed during the attack and two remained at large, including the suspected ringleader. On Nov. 18, French police carried out a raid where they reportedly killed the ringleader.
Since the attacks, Republicans have criticized the vetting process that refugees must undergo before they resettle in the country. But refugee organizations argue that refugees are screened more thoroughly than those who come to the U.S. student visas, and the process usually takes anywhere from 18 to 24 months.
Republicans also claim that admitting Syrian refugees into the country risks letting Islamic State militants in as well. They base their reasoning from the Syrian passport that was found near the body of one of the Paris attackers. However, German officials are saying that they have evidence that the passport was used as a false flag to raise suspicion and fear of refugees.
Regardless, Republicans have remained adamant about the U.S. only allowing Syrian Christians into the country. The president has criticized this idea, calling it “shameful and not American.”
Ben Rhodes, = deputy national security adviser for the president said that the Obama administration remains committed to accepting 10,000 refugees.