Editorial: Land of the free should open arms to refugees



In light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, many Americans have shared their thoughts and prayers for those affected. But in the same breath they have condemned the thousands of refugees fleeing from terrorist attacks, one being governor-elect Matt Bevin. Bevin said he would keep Syrian refugees from entering Kentucky.

“I do believe that many governors are using this to score cheap political points,” Arabic and Islamic Studies, International studies and French sophomore Nadia Almasalkhi said. “It is worrying that some people like our governor-elect Matt Bevin don’t understand how federalism and the constitution work.”

Currently, 31 governors have made statements opposing the admission of Syrian refugees to their states according to CNN. Many, including Bevin, have said the decision was a precaution to keep terrorists from entering the country, but the methods used by the State Department to screen refugees is so extensive that these fears are unfounded.

“There are background checks by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and other security organizations in the U.S. government, as well as medical appointments overseas,” Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ Community Relations Coordinator Anne Marie Grisanti said.

Each member of the family is interviewed by officials to confirm why they are leaving their home country. Grisanti said the process of vetting the U.S. uses is more extensive and effective than any other country and the separation of our continent prevents militants from being able to sneak into the country, a problem Europe faces because their borders are less regulated.

Ranym Nenneh is half French and half Syrian. She lived most of her life in Damascus, but came to UK as a freshman last year to study abroad.

“I remember it was right before I came to the U.S….we had explosions happen right on the other side of my window in the building facing us,” Nenneh said. “Refugees are fleeing ISIS, they are here because ISIS has kicked them out of their homes and they are suffering.”

Our elected officials are not behaving in a “land of the free” way, but instead are promoting fear and selfishness.

[email protected]