It’s hard to know where to begin with the current maelstrom swirling around the refugee crisis.
From Trump’s executive orders, to airport protests regarding refugee bans, to deterring terrorism and ISIS, to the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling, this issue has become political dynamite. Politics instead of people.
Then there are the deeper -- and I believe more significant -- questions that transcend the current heated and heavily partisan diatribe. Questions that need to be openly and objectively explored if we are to understand the root issues of why more people have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and crisis than at any other time since World War II. Americans need to move beyond the divisive and counter-productive political social media battles to ask themselves: what are the underlying tensions that compelled more than a million migrants and refugees to move into Europe last year? This ignited a crisis as nations there continue to struggle with the ongoing influx and effectively resettle those displaced people. We need to go beyond the headlines to see how families are being impacted. Syria continues to be the main driver of migration in Europe as does Somalia in the United States, but most Americans are unaware of the reasons why.
Admittedly, it is difficult for us to look past the headlines these days -- whether it is about refugees or any other issue. To be a part of the solution, however, to truly be knowledgably engaged and do something that matters, we need to -- at a minimum -- agree that refugees, like all human beings, have a right to live. The conflicts around the globe have killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced many millions more from their homes. It is the children that tragically have fared the worst, being powerless victims and many times becoming orphans, losing parents, siblings, and friends to physical and psychological violence.
People are suffering and need help regardless of their legal status, which is a matter for our government to eventually decide and implement the necessary policies to regulate. Until that happens, there is much we as individuals can do to address the real human suffering occurring on a global scale.
If you want to take action, here are two suggestions to address these issues:
1.) Read up on the issue. Here’s our compilation of articles and sources to learn more about the refugee crisis, as well as resources to help. This WikiHow article offers another great list of specific ways to help refugees.
2.) Do something about it. Venting on Facebook or Twitter may express your opinion but it does little to create solutions or help anyone.
GQ’s recent story on “The rise of the rage donation” is an important trend. Increasingly, frustrated people are donating to a cause that makes a difference. Where is our rage that little children and their families are running for their lives?
Regardless of your motivation, consider supporting charities who have been on the ground effectively serving refugees for many years. Samaritan’s Purse, Gleaning for the World, Water Mission, Bread for the World, International Rescue Committee, Church World Service, and many more are there serving, day in and day out. The Daily Signal had a great article on Samaritan’s Purse serving on the front lines to assist Syrian refugees.
To put it all in perspective, worldwide, more than 59 million people -- estimates indicate half are children -- are displaced due to increasing wars and persecution. One out of every 122 humans on the planet is a refugee or displaced. The amount of Syrians forced to leave their homes due to war would be like every man, woman and child in 29 states in the U.S. having to flee.
Think about that for a minute.
We live in volatile, political times. Thankfully, here in the United States, our children don’t have to worry about bombings destroying their town, or running for their lives to escape persecution. Somewhere else in the world, that’s exactly what other children and families are facing. And that’s why, no matter what side of the issue you fall on, we need to find unity in compassion.