Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Welcome refugees

    If you are celebrating Thanksgiving with your family, or at all, this holiday season — you might want to consider those less fortunate. 
    Of course, I’m talking about the Syrian refugee crisis on our hands. With the time of giving upon us, what could be more selfless than helping those in urgent need? There’s been plenty of rhetoric on both sides of the issue, but let’s run down some of the more popular anti-refugee claims:
    1. They’re lazy and unmotivated. 
    These men, women and children are leaving their homes and risking their lives hopping trains, boats and walking so many steps, your FitBit would lose count. Next.
    2. There’s too many, how will we ever support them? 
    The rules set in place for the Obama administration state, the U.S. can accept 10,000 refugees in the 2016 fiscal year, 67% of whom are women and children, with a price tag of just under $1B, according to the U.S. State Department. To put that in perspective, total DOD and overseas military operations budgets for 2011 was just over $664B.
    3. Shouldn’t we help the homeless in our own country first?
    This one’s a little more tricky — of course we should help the homeless, but we already have infrastructure in place to provide shelter and necessities, as well as noting that homelessness is generally in decline around the nation, according to the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. 
    Isn’t it a little idealistic to want to get homelessness down to nil before helping refugees since homelessness hasn’t been at zero percent — literally ever?
    4. Won’t that bring in more terrorists? 
    First of all, only 2 percent of accepted refugees will be “military-aged-males [18–30].” The refugees have to undergo a rigorous screening and interview process, and only 10,000 will be taken from camps of hundreds of thousands, so for a potential terrorist infiltration of one of those camps to lead to an insurgent actually making it to U.S. soil is incredibly unlikely. 
    5. I can’t house a refugee, so what do I do to help? 
    You can donate your money time, medical supplies, warm clothes or food to one of the myriad groups helping the crisis, such as UNICEF, Oxfam, Save the Children, Shelterbox, the International Medical Corps or many, many more nonprofit organizations.
    In the words of John Oliver: “There was only one time in American history when the fear of refugees wiping everyone out did actually come true, and we’ll all be sitting around a table celebrating it on Thursday.”
    David Hiltbrand is a Tower co-editor. Email him at Davidhiltbrand(at)sbcglobal.net.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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