Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mid-East Refugees - Exclude them or include them?

Heightened emotions make dealing with large numbers of refugees from Mid-East conflict very difficult. If our government would openly explain the planned vetting process it would help help.

I believe that trying to provide safe places for these refugees is something we must do. Surely we Christians must try to help.

At the outset we should acknowledge that no vetting process will be flawless. Some people may be kept out who are perfectly OK, and some people may be unintentionally admitted to the US who are dangerous. Still, I think careful consideration needs to be given to helping those we can.

Here are some brainstormed ideas I think might help meet the need of oppressed people for sanctuary while minimizing risk of infiltration by people hostile to the US. I am no authority. My only arguably relevant  experience is a few years in government service. Here are some thoughts.

1. Admit first the refugees who are easy to vet, like people who have worked for the US government or allied governments and have records and references to refer to.

2. In cooperation with our allies, establish places of temporary sanctuary as near as possible to original homes for those being processed.

3. Provide security and supply for those places.

4. Assemble teams of experienced intelligence interrogators to interview refugees seeking admission to the US, both to acquire useful intelligence and assure that those admitted to the US pose no risk to Americans.

5. Refugees who satisfy the vetting process and desire to enter the US  would be admitted to the US at the expense of the federal government (or if able at their personal expense) and in cooperation with state and local authorities would be resettled and given access to employment, school, etc., as lappropriate.

6. Refugees who fail the vetting process continue residing in the places of temporary sanctuary until hostilities in their home countries resolve, until countries allied with the US agree to admit them, or until they personally decide to leave sanctuary.

Again, I offer these ideas without a claim of expertise but with a desire that Americans seriously consider what we can do without exposing our country to unreasonable risk. I offer them only because I consider thoughtful approaches better than political battles between those who would summarily  exclude everyone (which is unmerciful) and those who would indulge in thoughtless admission of everyone who asks to come and has a story that invokes sympathy (which is inviting disaster).We must use our heads and hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Having just watched the latest PBS Frontline . . . and seeing what is going on, I pray God makes us wise.