Why Are People So Scared of Syrian Refugees?

Unfortunately, once people get it into their heads that someone or something poses a big risk to them and their families, it’s hard to do anything about it. The public is famously unresponsive to the simple math and cost-benefit balancing of the sort supplied by Nowrasteh. When the government supplies reassurances in the form of evidence and expert testimony, people are more likely to disbelieve the evidence and the experts than to change their minds, and this further erodes trust in government. And if a refugee does engage in terrorism, President Obama and the Democratic Party will almost certainly pay a high price. Obama has taken the high road—and there is much to admire in his position. But unless he can find a way to calm public fears, the refugees are in trouble.


I don’t know anyone afraid or unwelcoming of refugees. It’s the sneaking in of terrorists that is unwelcome. We should rather fund creating a safe haven for them in their own country. If someone handed you a bag of skittles, but told you that one of the pieces in the bag was poisoned and would kill you, would you eat out of that bag or even share it with your family and friends? I wouldn’t.

good point


But you can say the same thing about those who committ mass shootings. They can be anywhere at any time but we don’t just stay home and lock the doors.

That’s true Michael, but no reason to excuse or allow such behavior to increase.

The analogy is a bit faulty since mass murderers as well as homegrown terrorists are already in the country while refugees are not. Still, I think there must be some middle ground which enables truly desperate refugees to be taken in and, at the same time, screens for terrorists. We must try not to play on an already existing Islamophobia in the United States, but I am aware of the difficulties involved.

Not sure candy and live human beings that are fleeing a war zone are comparable. :shrug:

Tell me why 70% of those fleeing are young men of fighting age. They have so little pride for their own country.

The numbers just add up.


Here is another analogy.

To protect society from drunk drivers the first step is to get the drunk drivers off the street (into jail) Then we begin rehabilitating the drunks or finding a solution to the problem,

Let’s thoroughly screen refugees for terrorists and potential terrorists…THEN take care of the truly desperate people who need help.

I’ll make an honest effort to find a link, but in reality all one needs to do is look at the videos of those “fleeing” on the news. Not really rocket science.

Here you go:



You confuse fear with caution.

Well put Pete.

If the US did let in refugees, they wouldn’t be able to let it all of them. They would have to select some to come in, based on criteria. Why couldn’t they have a preference for families with children and not “men of fighting age”?

With the way things are currently being run and managed you really believe this would work, really?

This current administration can’t even say the words as to who we are in combat with.

I’m sure 99% of the refugees are good people, but we have no way of completely screening or vetting these refugees at least for now, according to the FBI
And it only takes just a handful, even just one or two, to cause a lot of deaths.
I also agree that maybe we could take in families with children, or the elderly but the large number of young men of fighting age understandably makes people nervous.
Even President Obama closed down taking refugees from Iraq for 6 months in 2011 after there were found to be a small # of terrorists.

I agree. And I don’t think anyone who wants to let refugees in is against screening them. But what a lot of people seem to miss is that we already DO have a tough security process for refugees - though you wouldn’t know this from hearing some Republicans talk.

They act as though our refugee process is just as vulnerable to exploitation as Europe’s, when the reality is, we’re not in the same situation as Europe at all. We have the luxury of several thousand miles between us and Syria, which allows us to be more thorough in our screening than they can be:

[quote=Cato Institute]Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner called the security checks for refugees “the most stringent security process for anyone entering the United States.” Coming here as a refugee requires numerous security and background checks that are more intense and invasive than for other migrants or visitors – which is partly why refugees have not successfully carried out terrorist attacks on U.S. soil (three have been convicted of attempting to carry out attacks abroad, there was one borderline case from a refugee who entered in 1997, and at least one other for a refugee who entered prior to 2001).

The first step for a refugee is to arrive and register in a UNHCR refugee camp outside of Syria. The UNHCR then refers those who pass the first stage of vetting to the U.S. government refugee process (as described above). The National Counterterrorism Center, the Terrorist Screening Center, the Department of Defense, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department use biometrics and biographical information gleaned through several interviews of the refugee and third-party persons who know him or could know him to make sure applicants really are who they claim to be, to evaluate their security risk, and to investigate whether they are suspected of criminal activity or terrorism. Numerous medical checks are also performed. During this entire screening process, which takes about three years for Syrians, the refugee has to wait in the camp. If there is any evidence that the refugee is a security threat, he or she is not allowed to come to the United States.

Read the rest here: cato.org/blog/syrian-refugees-dont-pose-serious-security-threat It gives an extremely in-depth description of the process. Pretty interesting.

The way I see it, if we are going to refuse refugees entrance into the country because we are afraid that terrorists might exploit the process, then we should also shut down all airports, close the borders, and stop all international trade and shipping for the same reason. There’s a greater risk of a terrorist entering the country through those channels than through the refugee process. All of those are much easier and faster ways to gain access to the U.S. and have much less stringent security measures



According to recent statistics gathered by the United Nations and updated Nov. 17, there are 4,289,792 registered Syrian refugees, and about 22 percent of those refugees are men between the ages 18 and 59. The hypothetical young male “fighting age” range is most likely narrower in reality. Also contrary to common belief, the majority (50.3 percent) of refugees are female, and an even higher majority (51.2 percent) are children under 17 years of age.


“So 28 percent are women and children, and the other 72 percent, from January to September, those are men, and most of them fighting age,” Rep. Louie Gohmert told Fox Business.

That’s an outdated number.** And it refers to overall Mediterranean migrants, not just Syrians.**

The majority of Syrian refugees — about 51 percent — are 17 years old or younger.

“They want to work; they want to finish their education. They want to live in peace; they want some stability in their lives,” Assistant Secretary of State Anne Richard said on C-SPAN.

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