What Might Have Been

What Might Have Been March 3, 2017

Robert Carle suggests that “sensible refugee policy will balance two competing realities: first, it is a moral duty for a wealthy country like the United States to help displaced and suffering people; and second, not everyone who wants to immigrate to the United States can come to live here.”

We might have found ourselves in the middle of a debate about these two competing realities, in an effort to find a sensible policy. We aren’t, and Carle blames Trump:

Our new president could have rolled out an alternative to our current immigration policies that would affirm our commitments to those who are religiously persecuted and to refugees from Southern Africa and from Southeast Asia, who have a history of integrating well into American life. Perhaps he could have presented a plan to find a more congenial home for Somali refugees, who have a poor record of acculturating in Western environments. The United States and Europe could commit to contributing to the costs of such relocations. Perhaps also he could have announced a plan for Saudi Arabia to play a greater role in hosting and relocating Syrian refugees, who speak Arabic and practice Sunni Islam. He could have announced an extra layer of vetting for the 60,000 refugees who have already obtained security clearance. He could also have announced that current visa holders from dangerous parts of the globe would be subject to additional scrutiny.

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