InFocus: Should Illinois accept Syrian refugees?


A Syrian refugee child sleeps in his father’s arms while waiting at a resting point to board a bus Oct. 4, after arriving on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos.

By Northern Star staff

Angela Pagan

I do not agree with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to stop accepting refugees into Illinois. Rejecting refugees does not exemplify the principles of this nation. Our country is a product of religious refugees seeking asylum. So at this moment in time, why reject those who are seeking safety from injustice? The United States is a nation of immigrants and has always been so. We as a nation should stand strong in our promise to help and protect those who deserve justice and safety. It is absolutely wrong to reject any people who look for asylum within our nation. The United States stands as a motherland to those who recognize injustice in their own home and wish to make an effort toward reform within their culture. What we in reality should work toward is peaceful relations with countries in political turmoil. It is our job as a country that seeks to exemplify democracy and justice to help those whose own territories are full with injustice and unfair treatment toward citizens.

Hanna Markezich

In response to recent attacks, Gov. Bruce Rauner has suspended the acceptance of Syrian refugees. One argument is there would be potential risks accepting the refugees, while others argue that America needs to fix the homeless situation before allowing more people to live here. Personally, I am on the fence of this decision. I agree that we do have a homeless issue in America, but this has been a problem for decades. As for the risk of another terrorist attack, terrorism does not have a religion. The refugees have already been stripped of their land, religion and dignity. All they want is a place to rest and not be in danger. Overall, I believe we have to show compassion. Give the people who are affected by terrorist attacks our love and support. If we allow ourselves to think in a negative way, then we can never find peace. Are we not suppose to love our neighbor? America should accept a limited amount of refugees while organizing a way to help our homeless.

Kara Mercer

I do not agree with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to stop accepting Syrian refugees. I understand the need to feel safe; however that does not mean Illinois or any other state should try and stop the flow of refugees completely. Declaring to stop the flow of Syrian refugees is profiling an entire group of people and putting them in danger. Not allowing refugees because they are from Syria is a claim that all Syrians are dangerous when they are the ones who are in danger. This decision is a step in the wrong direction for the way people from the Middle East are viewed and treated in the United States. “The people who are coming to the U.S. as refugees are fleeing from the very same perpetrators who committed the acts in Paris,” said Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, Penn State Law professor, according to CNN. “There is a real disconnect and lack of compassion when trying to respond to the Paris attacks by endangering the most vulnerable.” States should issue higher security for entrance into the state.

Kaylyn Zielinski

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to not allow Syrian refugees into Illinois is understandable, but I sympathize with the refugees. Rauner said his decision to suspend acceptance of Syrian refugees was because of safety and security after the recent terrorist attacks. The attacks in Paris last week are thought to have been caused by people posing as Syrian refugees. It’s important that our governor is looking out for the safety of citizens, but there isn’t much he can do about whether or not President Barack Obama decides to take in refugees because of the Refugee Act of 1980, which makes governors’ opinions on the matter pointless. The State Department is still going to accept Syrian refugees despite the governors’ refusals. I like how Rauner is trying to show protection over the citizens of Illinois, but the refugees need some protection, too. “The people we are talking about are fleeing the perpetrators of terror,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, according to a Delaware Online article.