By Noy Shani
The American public is starting to wake up to the fact that the current refugee crisis is not just a European problem.
The civil war in Syria has caused four million to flee their homes in the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Following an enthusiastic and supportive reception in Germany, which promised to take in 800,000 refugees, the American public are urging their government to act quickly.
Kathleen Newland, co-founder and Board of Trustees member of the US based Migration Policy Institute, has explained on CNN why the US must do more for refugees. She said: “The first reason for that is leadership. The United States has been a leader in humanitarian response since World War II.
“However our resettlement programme remains mired in bureaucracy and timidity.”
In Ms Newland’s opinion this has much to do with fear from terror following 9/11. However, she believes America can easily protect itself from such threats and it will be foolish to pass such an opportunity by.
So far the US agreed to take in only 1,500 Syrian refugees, but the International Rescue Committee and its CEO David Miliband called Washington to open its doors to further 65,000.
Mr Miliband tweeted that this kind of quota by the end of 2016 will represent the leadership America has shown in the past.
— David Miliband (@DMiliband) September 6, 2015
Alex Nowrasteh, an Immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, supports this view and believes refugees can contribute America. In a column to the Washington Post, he said: “The most common worry is that refugees will consume welfare and be a burden on American taxpayers.
He then gave the example of the Soviet Jews who came to the US in 1990, while receiving no welfare.
“Their income grew up everywhere but over time but resettled Soviet Jews who ended up in high-welfare New York were less likely to work and learn English than those who settled in lower-welfare Maryland.
“Working and learning English were the key to refugee self-sufficiency – it can work for Syrians too.”