Syria Follow Up
Syrians have been leaving their homes and families to avoid death in their home country for years. As recently covered in the media, the war in Syria has caused citizens to flee their home country and try to find another home elsewhere.
Seaholm junior Leen Sharba used to live in Syria. She moved to the United States when she was a little girl, but the memories of the violence due to the war still live on in her memory.
“I remember before I moved here we would hear shotguns and see tanks in our neighborhoods,” Sharba said. “My mom would always worry about us on the way to school. We would see people on the ground, and people lighting things on fire and things like that.”
Sharba believed all her worries would disappear if she moved to the United States. She is a firm believer that people living in nice communities cannot begin to fathom what the Syrians are living through right now.
“I think that something very helpful for people is to not assume and not think they know what the Syrian people are going through or what is already happening,” Sharba said.
Barack Obama has been pushing to bring in thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States.
Lea Luger is on the board of directors at Yad Ezra, a Jewish organization. She believes that Syrian refugees would only impoverish the state of Michigan.
“If the US decides to allow refugees to come to our country, I don’t think Michigan, and especially Detroit, is prepared to absorb more unemployed and impoverished people,” Luger said. “We already have much higher unemployment than cities across the US. I don’t think it would make economic sense for our struggling state to bring in refugees unless there really were no other options.”
However, others believe that Syrians should be able to come to the United States for safety because the country has a history of immigration changes. The Arab American Organization holds one of these opinions.
“They [Syrian refugees] should be allowed to migrate just as many other immigrant nationality groups have in the past,” The Arab American Organization stated. “Immigrants built our nation and immigration is a part of our nation’s DNA.”
It is also a possibility that through gaining more working immigrants, the United States, and specifically Michigan, could benefit economically because more people would contribute to the economy.
“The U.S. should welcome and encourage Syrian immigrants to settle in Michigan,” The Arab American Organization said. “In wake of Michigan’s economic downfall, Syrian immigrants could contribute to the re-birth of the region.”
Christina Ponzio, an English as a Second Language teacher at Seaholm, stated that several English as a Second Language students have come from the neighboring areas of Syria. She believes that their arrival would benefit the Seaholm community.
“We have definitely had an influx of refugees specifically from Iraq a few from Ukraine,” Ponzio said. “I know in neighboring districts like Lampeer they get a lot of refugees because of housing there. But I know we get some here based on if they have family that is already living in the area.”