A Look Across the Pond: Issue 2


It’s been a month since I announced this fortnightly project to look into US Politics and my hiatus has not been without developments in the situation across the pond. The US Presidential race rumbles along with the same front runners holding firm and many of the chaff (pun intended Lincoln Chafee) pulling out of the race. But beyond the usual Democrat vs Republican banter and bickering the US Political system is well known for has arisen a greater issue – one that was relatively unheard of until the sad events that took place in Paris on that infamous Friday evening. As the world mourned and reacted to the news, a political battlefield was being drawn across the Atlantic one that has been on European minds for quite some time – the refugee crisis.

The original plan announced by President Barack Obama was to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees into the US for resettlement but as news broke that many of these terrorists had slipped into Europe under the guise of refugees the response was overwhelming. Over 50% of US state governors, most of whom are Republican, wrote to Obama calling for him to back down on his refugee programme citing risks to national security.The attitude towards this crisis has become increasingly hostile. The Statue of Liberty herself bares an inscription that reads:

Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…

This message that has apparently lost its bite in the US as every single candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination has rejected the idea of accepting Syrian refugees, with Jeb Bush going as far as to suggest only allowing Christian refugees into the country. When asked on how to tell them apart from the other refugees he simply says ‘I think you can prove it’ (See this video – Colbert on Refugee crisis ). Even Ben Carson has compared them to rabid dogs and frontrunner Donald Trump has suggested a creation of a database for all Syrian Muslims who enter the US. Meanwhile, on the left, Hilary Clinton tweeted this: ‘slamming the door on refugees is not who we are’.

What they all seem to be forgetting is the strict nature of the American screening process. Not only did Obama’s plan not suggest any actual resettlement for 2 years according to the US State Department, but even the Secretary of State for Homeland Security has pointed out that the US screening process is one of the toughest in the world,

partly due to the hoops that must be jumped to prove who you are and why you require entrance to the United States coupled with the safeguards in place that are used which include fingerprint and biographic checks as well as a face to face overseas interview done by one of the US State Department’s trained immigration officers.

All the red tape and red faces make entering the US as a Syrian refugee borderline impossible as it stands. Just north of the border in the newly liberal Canada, Syrians have been steadily arriving in the country for months and some of them will be used as part the Liberals’ election promise to resettle 25,000 people by the end of the year. No matter how unlikely that is to be achieved in the set time frame, it is in stark contrast with their brothers in the ‘Land of the Free’. The situation across the atlantic it seems is just as frenzied and complicated as the refugee crisis taking place on our own borders.

In other (lighter) news, Bernie Sanders is currently leading Time’s Person of the Year online poll and Ben Carson’s foreign policy advisor Duane R. Clarridge said this:

Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East… We need to have a conference call once a week where his guys roll out the subjects they think will be out there, and we can make him smart.

Come back in a fortnight’s time (I’ll try really hard this time, promise) to check in with more U.S. news and updates to broaden your own personal interests or perhaps to sound cultured and smart to your family and friends.

More articles in US Presidential Election 2016
  1. Hofstra University Presidential Debate – Live Blog
  2. A Look Across the Pond: Issue 1
  3. A Look Across the Pond: Issue 2
  4. A Look Across the Pond: Issue 3
  5. A Look Across The Pond: Issue 4
  6. If Clinton Was Male She Would Win In A Landslide
  7. Washington University Presidential Debate – Live Blog
  8. University Of Nevada Presidential Debate – Live Blog
  9. US Presidential Debate Sketch: What Would George Think?

Politics Writer Second Year History Student

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