How do we stay safe in America?
The news is full of stories about ISIS, Immigration questions, and whether or not America should allow Syrian refugees into the country but should we turn our back on people from other nations who are in distress and what have we done in the past? What security measures are we taking now concerning immigration?
According to the Christian Post, Syrian refugees, most of which are fleeing the terror of ISIS have to go through a lengthy process which can take from18 months to 2 years in order to enter America legally. They also need to be referred to the United Nations to enter the United States for asylum.
During this process people can be removed from the immigration list for any reason or go to the next step which is the security check. Through U.S institutions or the databases of other countries such as Lebanon or Jordan the U.S hopefully collects data. They can deny a person immigration at any time. While it is true this may not be easy they also have to pass a security check and every male over the age of 14 is interviewed by a highly trained official working within the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Over 4 million people have fled Syria because of ISIS and threats to their way of life. The same thing happened during the Troubles in Ireland and we also saw a huge wave of Irish immigrants during the famine of the 1840s.
In fact throughout history we’ve welcomed people from Ireland, Poland, Germany, Italy, and others either because of poverty or war in their own country. Many came through Ellis Island. How exactly did this process play out?
The screening process in Ellis Island for many Irish went like this:
Shortly after taking their 1st step in the New World Immigrants faced inspection.Their baggage was checked at the entry to a tall flight of stairs leading to what was called the Great Hall. As they climbed these stairs doctors waiting at the top watched for signs of asthma, physical disabilities, mental retardation, or excessive gazing. Once reaching the top they were inspected for contagions. Each exam only took seconds and the result was written with chalk on the person’s clothing. Sometimes People tried to erase the marks or put their coats on inside out if they did not like the grade they received from Immigration.
Once in the Great Hall, the questioning began. If an immigrant took too long to answer he or she was in danger of a diagnosis of mental disability but many could not speak English! The questions were often the same used when they boarded from their native countries such as did they have a job lined up, was family sponsoring them and how much money did they have in their pockets. It took 3 to 5 hours per immigrant.
America is a very young country with a long history of immigration. We would not have become the super-power we are, built bridges and railroads, made life-changing discoveries, or settled this country into a thriving nation without millions of different people from all over the world.
ISIS and the news would have us believe they can easily penetrate America by posing as Syrian refugees but would we really be safer by listening to the words of terrorists?