The United States: Monetarians or Humanitarians?

Picture this: millions of people – families, friends, business owners, children, grandparents – fleeing their homes, leaving behind everything they’ve ever known and loved. Imagine a little girl among the panicked and confused crowds. Let’s say she’s 8 years old, and her name is Amira. Her dark curls are tied up into pigtails. Her big brown eyes dominate her tiny, heart-shaped face. Her cheeks have lost their rosy hue. The twinkle of mirth and excitement that usually accompanies her gap-toothed smile has gone dim. Little Amira has faced something no 8-year-old should ever have to face: she’s been forced to leave her home. Thanks to the brutal civil war that has ravaged her country for more than half her life, Amira has said goodbye to her toys, her clothes and her friends. She is now a refugee–a new face among countless other weary, rose-less faces with twinkle-less eyes.

Syria has been a war zone since 2011. While many Americans have forgotten about the dismal conditions of the Middle Eastern country for the past four years, allowing only a handful of refugees to find sanctuary within the borders of this great country, the Syrians have suffered bombings and the loss of too many lives. In the past month, half of the Syrian population has been displaced, and have sought refuge in bordering countries or the E.U.

According to CNN, 20 percent of the world’s population of displaced persons are from Syria. 4.1 million are seeking refuge beyond the Middle East. Of those 4.1 million people, how many have the U.S. helped since 2011?


What about in 2015 alone?


That’s right. The U.S. has taken in 1,200 refugees this year out of millions.

President Obama wants to remedy this by allowing 10,000 refugees for 2016. That’s certainly an improvement compared to the minuscule number we’ve taken in so far. But there are still millions more. Who’s going to help them? Why aren’t we doing more?

With presidential elections creeping closer and closer, the candidates must answer these tough questions.

Republican candidate Mike Huckabee said, “Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we’ve got cable TV?”

It seems that potential president Huckabee believes that these refugees aren’t really refugees; they just want the comforts of our all-American cable TV. These people aren’t really fleeing from oppression. They just want to catch the next episode of “America’s Got Talent.” What a promising theory.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, another Republican presidential hopeful, weighed in on the situation by tweeting the following:


















The $4 billion is a valid argument. And it’s true that Syrians aren’t the only refugees in the world. But why must the United States’ fiscal responsibilities overshadow their responsibilities as people?

The U.S. is a rich and powerful country that can do so much more with their wealth and prominence to help people. It’s shameful that we can’t do more as a country to help those who are trying to escape the very oppression we are supposed to abhor. This country needs to see past the politics and economics, just for a second, and consider the humanitarian need to help these refugees in their time of need.