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Why European Countries Should Open Up Their Borders to Syrian Refugees

Updated on September 24, 2015

The heart-wrenching image of a washed up child on the shores of Turkey has sent waves of shock across the Western world causing many European countries to rethink their border policies. The little toddler, identified as Alyan Kurdi, and his family were making a trip across the Mediterranean in order to escape the violence in Syria. The Western world has in a sense become desensitized to the dire situation of Syrian citizens. The grotesque nature of this event has caused the Western World to ask a very pertinent question: should we provide an asylum for the refugees?

The populations of Western coutnries are highly in favor of helping the Syrian refugees and over the course of the past week donations have been flowing in to help the situation of these refugees. CEO of Chobani had pledged to donate half of his wealth to aid the refugees. The people of Europe, although in the past have been characterized as xenophobic, are supporting european immigrants with open arms. German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is opening up the borders of Germany to the refugees and is urging other countries to do the same. The fear of foreigners in Europe doesn't seem to be as much of a problem as many politicians are making it out to be. The Western population is largely a humanitarian one that wants to aid these refugees in any way that they can.

Although there is overwhelming support for these European immigrants, Anti-immigrant groups are also very rampant. There are numerous Anti-immigrant parties in Europe and in the rest of the Western world that want to keep foreigners out of their countries. There are politicians in the United States that go as far as wanting to build a wall to keep foreign immigrants out(@Donald Trump). Some of the concerns presented by these groups are valid to some extent. The economic burden of immigrants will be surely felt in the coutnries that do provide asylum to these refugees. Greece's immigrant problem is evidence enough of the potential economic ramifications of opening up the borders of European countries to the Syrian refugees.

In the past, it has been proven that a coordinated effort by the Western world can alleviate these potential economic detriments that countries will face. The Economist explains that Germany's initiative is "right morally, economically, and politically.It sets an example to the world." There are a plethora of options to deal with the refugee crisis in a way that doesn't handicap the economy of the host country. The UN can oversee the allocation of refugees to host coutnries in a way that will minimize the economic detriments to the countries that are providing asylum for the Syrians.

Not only is it our moral duty to help the Syrians, but it makes sense from an economic and political standpoint. Let's make sure that families like that of Alyan Kurdi are able to attain a better life. The Western World can no longer be oblivious to the gruesome situation in Syria and we must realize our moral obligation to help the refugees in need.


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