Nearly half of the Syrian population has been displaced by the ongoing civil war in that country. Many of those able to flee the country have attempted to reach Europe. Not everyone seeking refuge has survived the trek, with at least 2,600 migrants having died attempting to reach Europe so far this year, many of whom have drowned in the Mediterranean.
The International Organization for Migration estimates that nearly 350,000 Syrians have attempted to reach Europe, with many more expected to flee the war-torn country in the coming months. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Germany expects up to 800,000 refugees to seek asylum there this year, compared to 173,000 in 2014. Reuters reports that President Obama “has directed his administration to prepare to take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.” Adding, “[The United States] currently admits a total of 70,000 refugees from around the world annually, and is due to increase that total by 5,000 for the fiscal year starting in October.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest would not say whether the 10,000 Syrians would be a part of or in addition to that total.”
Even if the US government accepted 10,000 Syrian refugees in addition to the 70,000 refugees admitted annually, it would still be only a drop in the bucket of the 10.6 million Syrian refugees that are either displaced within Syria (6.5 million) or who have already sought asylum in another country (4.1 million). Further, Syria is only one country with people seeking to escape war. CNN reports, “At least 15 wars and conflicts are to blame — in Africa, the Mideast and Asia.” Adding that “Worldwide, 59.5 million people are on the move as refugees or displaced people within their home countries. That population would be enough to make them citizens of the world’s 24th biggest country.”
The US government could certainly establish a policy of welcoming more refugees. However the trek from Syria to Europe, which is much closer, is expensive and deadly; it would be even costlier to get to the United States, and deadlier if traveling by boat. What else could the United States do for the nearly 60 million displaced people worldwide?
The answer is simpler than one might think: stop making refugees! Syria, Afghanistan & Somalia account for over half of the refugees seeking asylum outside of their home country. Two of those three countries (Syria & Afghanistan) are being regularly bombed by the US military, and the US military has an advisory role in the ongoing conflict in the third (Somalia). I’m not saying there would be no refugees or people displaced by war if the US military were not involved in numerous conflicts around the world. I’m simply saying there would be fewer refugees, fewer displaced people, and fewer conflicts if the United States military were not being used to police the world.