Syrian refugees: Whatthey go through to reach asylum
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in March 2011, over 4 million Syrians have become refugees, with 6.6 million being left displaced in their own country. With the death toll rising in Syria to almost 140,000 people, over 7,000 of them children, many Syrians are anxious to find safety in other nations. Many have sought asylum in various countries in the Middle East and Europe, as well as the United States.
Due to the fact that many Syrians are denied visas into their neighboring countries, thousands attempt to reach Europe by illegally crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Italy or Greece. While some have been able to successfully reach Europe, the trip is costly and dangerous. Smugglers will normally charge refugees a fee between $2,000 and $3,500 per person. Refugees are then transported to Libya where they await transportation and are left vulnerable to theft and abuse. The boats they travel in are often overcrowded and unsafe for travel. Last year alone, over 3,000 refugees were reported to have been killed trying to cross the Mediterranean.
“It’s terrible that they have to go through such extreme conditions to seek safety,” Samantha Weiss ‘18 said.
Over half of all American governors have stated that they will no longer accept Syrian refugees into their states, claiming that they pose a threat to national security. After the attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, many Americans fear that a similar attack may take place in the United States if Syrian refugees are permitted to enter the country.
“I could see where one comes from to say that they could propose a potential threat, because enough of them abide by the Quran which is full of absurdities, things that are horrifying and degrading to women,” Alex Fedor ‘18 said. “But to block all Syrians from entering the country is absurd.”