That’s what it comes down to, ultimately.
There are about 12.5 million Syrian refugees, according to SyrianRefugees.eu:
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 4.8 million have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq, and 6.6 million are internally displaced within Syria. Meanwhile about one million have requested asylum to Europe.
For context, the prewar population of Syria was about 23 million.
In 2016, the US resettled 0.1% of this total into the United States. 12,587 to be precise.
Clearly, refugee resettlement is not the solution to the refugee crisis, and, in fact, Trump has proposed “safe zones” within Syria. Reportedly, that was even discussed as a potential part of Friday’s executive order, but it was withdrawn, and for pretty much the reasons you’d expect. As The American Interest wrote:
The dangers of such a policy are clear. For one, the imposition of a no-fly zone in a theatre frequented by Russian and Syrian aircraft clearly raises the risk of a deadly confrontation. And even if Trump could get Russia on board, refugees would be loath to trust assurances from Moscow after its long history of violating ceasefires and targeting civilians.
The Defense Department, meanwhile, has already been down this road under President Obama, who rejected a safe zone near the Turkish border after the Pentagon estimated that it would require 30,000 U.S. troops on the ground. If anything, those estimates are conservative; an expanded safe zone could easily demand a more extensive troop commitment while gobbling up defense dollars with no end in sight.
So, readers, what responsibility, what role does America have?
Image: By Voice of America News: Henry Ridgwell on Turkish border, “Refugees Flee Aleppo; Hot, Barren Turkish Camps Await”. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons