In the United States, the line from … certain politicians … on Syrian refugees has mostly been this: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
But how afraid should we be? Just how terrorist-y are these refugees after all? Most Americans have never met any, so it’s hard to know.
In just the second episode of her (pretty excellent) new TBS show, “Full Frontal,” Samantha Bee traveled to Jordan to find out.
Bee spoke to some actual refugees and asked them actual questions, including what they think about ISIS.
Based on what she found, we … shouldn’t be afraid at all (unless you’re afraid of Alec Baldwin fans).
First of all, they hate ISIS.
Beyond that, they’re basically just regular people caught in a terrible situation.
They watch TV. They go to school. They want to live in peace.
Many were big fans of the United States and completely unaware of the contentious debate in the U.S. about their status. Just shocking!
Wait a minute — what if this is just a ploy to get us to drop our guard?
Thankfully, it isn’t!
Contrary to Donald Trump’s suggestion that the vast majority of refugees are “strong young men,” suspiciously traveling alone, Bee found plenty of women, children, widows, and families in the camp. And unlike people who travel on, say, a tourist or student visa — which are easy to come by in comparison — refugees have to endure a grueling, potentially years-long vetting process that involves multiple agencies before ultimately being resettled in a random country not of their choosing (unless they have family or another compelling reason to go somewhere specific).
Bottom line: If a terrorist were looking to sneak into the U.S., it would be pretty dumb to try and do it as a refugee.
“They are personally interviewed and thorough background checks are performed by Homeland Security and the FBI,” former chief counsel of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Stephen H. Legomsky wrote in a news release. “No competent terrorist would choose the U.S. refugee process as a preferred strategy for gaining entry into the U.S.”
So cheer up, America! Syrian refugees are just like you and me, and it’s OK to welcome them.
It’s the right thing to do, and it doesn’t cost us anything.
Except possibly, the one thing they want above all else.