Refugee Crises in the Middle East: A Shared Responsibility
May 18, 2016 08:15 AM - 12:45 PM
The Center for Migration Studies (CMS) hosted policymakers, advocates, opinion shapers, academics, educators, practitioners, and media for a half-day meeting on the resettlement of refugees from the Middle East, with a particular focus on refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Much of the rhetoric in the public square about the refugee crises in the Middle East suggests that resettlement, a traditional tool of refugee protection and a durable solution for some, should not be considered by the United States. Some politicians and pundits have played on the public’s fears of terrorism by suggesting that resettlement candidates, especially from Syria and Iraq, are not adequately screened and pose a threat to national security.
This meeting was designed to review the facts involved in the processing and resettlement of refugees from the Middle East. Government and United Nations officials provided information about the processes to identify and screen refugees for resettlement. In addition, speakers from faith communities discussed our shared responsibility to refugees, highlighted their contributions to our nation, offered insights on the resettlement process, and featured the willingness and capacity of communities around the country to welcome and assist refugees from the Middle East.
The meeting also offered an opportunity for refugees from the region who have been resettled in the United States to share their stories of flight and resettlement in a new land. In addition, the event featured community volunteers who have welcomed and assisted refugees in their resettlement.