Refugees: Taste the Rainbow

Stahler. (2016). Syria and Skittles[Comic]

Picture Credit: Stahler. (2016). Syria and Skittles[Comic]

“If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three were would kill you. Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.” A thought from Donald Trump Jr., who some believed the Skittled induced Syrian refugee crisis analogy was over-simplistic and distasteful. The Syrian situation is one with a civil war between the long-serving government and those seeking to push it out of office. Trying to maintain power, the Syrian government reacted with violence against its citizens, and naturally Syrians fled elsewhere for safety. Sure people are naturally concerned with people in need, but the refugee debate is improperly focused. The focus of the government should be its citizens, and America’s government is first responsible for United States’ citizens.

The tension or vendetta in this case is how to maintain the security of our citizens, while also doing humanitarian efforts to refugees abroad and in need?  Many politicians have acted in haste – supporting refugee intake – to demonstrate their positive action to their constituents, and they forget the dangers that could creep in with the inflow of refugees from Syria. When 78% of deaths caused by terrorist activity is concentrated within five countries – Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria – we need to be sure there is a proper vetting system for people coming from those countries.[1] But Michael Steinbach, assistant director of the FBI, in a testimony on Capitol Hill said despite claims of rigorous vetting, there is no robust vetting process on migrants from Middle Eastern states. These are people from war-torn countries that have no records normally used to inspect incoming migrants.  He continues: “You’re talking about a country that is a failed state that does not have any infrastructure…So all of the data sets — the police, the intel services — that normally you would go to seek information don’t exist.”[2]

Certainly, the debate poses a tense pull between wanting to help and maintaining national security. Current law states you must receive referrals for consideration as a refugee. However, with laxed border security and accelerated refugee processing there, more people are slipping through the lines without any type of admission process. It may be surprising to learn, however, that there are already thousands of people crossing the border classified as foreigners from non-Latin American countries. Many of which are confirmed terrorists, while others known to come terrorist corrupted countries: Iraq, Iran, and Syria.[4] Still, political advocacy groups, such as Amnesty International, suggest even greater reductions (i.e. eliminating) in border security to ease migrant entrance without needing legal documentation.[3] In doing so, it increases the ease of entry while decreasing the danger of coming. By simply bringing migrants in without fully vetting them thoroughly harms those already here. There’s an idea in economics that states an economist who implements policy only beneficial to a faction of the population is a bad economist. This theory certainly can be applied to public policy decisions as well. Remember, open borders invites more than just refugees in need. Merkel applied this policy in Germany, and now she’s struggling to put an optimistic spin on mass sexual assaults, crime sprees, and violent crime at the hands of refugees.[5]

Yes, it serves the migrants to have care-free stroll in, but it pulls the debate to a point that it completely undermines any security whatsoever. So, instead let’s consider some tamed options officials from the United States and other countries, such as Britain and Australia. They’re suggesting to develop a safe zone “where civilians are protected from harm resulting from ground, air, or other attacks by any armed group.”[6] Others advocate building refugees areas on islands or facilities for a time period to prove. These suggestions have not been perfect in the past, and the safe zones weren’t always respected as neutral territories. However, despite its faults, the safe zone implemented in WWII is credited in saving 200,000-300,000 lives.[7]

From these options, the best course of action is to keep refugees in safe zones in order to protect them as well as citizens in the United States. Government aid to other countries and governments shouldn’t be at the expense of the safety of its citizens. In hopes of preventing another Germany or Paris incident from reoccurring elsewhere, we can help them by keeping them in their own homeland but heavily protected. If we could keep the refugees in familiar territory and not relocate them, wouldn’t that be preferable?  The goal is to protect our nation and its people first, and then help those that we can abroad. Even Democrats as recent as the 90’s, sought to “strengthen our borders” to “protect our citizens” because we are a “nation of laws.” [8]



If there are still doubts in the validity of this policy choice, consider looking into Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP) who offering training and education in international humanitarian aid.

[1] Global Terrorism Index (Publication). (2015). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from Institutes for Economics and Peace website:

[2] Homeland Security Committee. 2015. Key Capitol Hill Hearings : CSPAN : October 2, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT : Free Streaming : Internet Archive. Retrieved from CSPAN website:

[3] Amnesty International. (2015). 8 ways to solve the world refugee crisis | Amnesty International. Retrieved from

[4] Action News WSB-TV-DT. (2010). Muslim Terrorists Crossing US/Mexican Border[Video file]. Retrieved from

[5] Bittner, J. (2016, January 15). Can Germany Be Honest About Its Refugee Problems? The New York Times [New York]. Retrieved from

[6] Paul, D. (2013, June 11). A time to act: The argument for no-fly zones and safe areas to protect civilians in Syria | Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP). Retrieved from

[7] Paul, D. (2013, June 11). A time to act: The argument for no-fly zones and safe areas to protect civilians in Syria | Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP). Retrieved from

[8] Clinton, B., & Schwartz, I. (2016, May 17). 1996 Flashback: Bill Clinton Talks Like Trump On Immigration: “We Are A Nation Of Laws” | Video | RealClearPolitics. Retrieved from



Daniel A. Nichols is a young conservative scholar, who obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Calvin College. His focus was on Immigration Law and its Effects on the United States. He has worked as a legislative intern in Washington, DC, and has been published twice. As a Policy Corner writer, he is most focused on discussing Immigration, Economics, and Individual Rights. He is a pro-America, protectionist, small government conservative that believes people are at their best when they are unhindered by overbearing authority (from the government).