Now is the time the United States should be doing its part to aid in alleviating the global refugee crisis, but this faces a new obstacle. On Monday, the United Nations General Assembly met, with the Syrian refugee crisis a top concern. On Tuesday, a United-States-led refugee summit will take place, during which President Barack Obama is expected reiterate his call for the admittance of 110,000 refugees, mostly from Syria, in 2017. However, violence over this past weekend could impede Obama's push to contribute to the migrant crisis' solution.
"The search for and eventual capture Monday of 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami gave a fresh talking point to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who wants to dramatically curtail U.S. admissions of refugees and other immigrants and who has criticized his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's more welcoming stance," Nahal Toosi wrote in Politico. That Rahami, who is Afghan-born and suspected in Saturday's New York and New Jersey bombings, was captured after a dramatic shootout may only fan the flames of Trump's anti-refugee rhetoric. Said rhetoric has included his going on Fox News Monday to say, "Hillary Clinton wants to allow hundreds of thousands of these same people that... have such hatred and sickness in their hearts."
Trump's words strike just as Americans encounter new evidence to make them fearful of immigrants, especially ones from Muslim countries. It's the kind of message that may, unfortunately, not only aid Trump but also curtail Obama's efforts to boost the number of Syrian refugees who are allowed into the United States.
With the United Nations declaring the global refugee crisis at "unprecedented" levels, with some 65 million people displaced from their homes in 2015, Obama is hosting a Leaders' Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis. It will be co-hosted by several other nations, as well as United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote in a statement that the summit would push to get participating countries on board with the goals of getting one million more refugees in school and granting one million more the right to work.
As acts of violence are committed under the guise of Islam, many conservative politicians — like *ahem* the Republican presidential nominee — drum up fear by association. Even more reprehensibly, from my perspective, they use the attacks as a justification to neglect the people who are suffering at the hands of terrorists most directly: the refugees who fled their homes and their countries due to violence.
Still, there is hope that Tuesday's summit will lead to concrete steps to aid the massive global refugee crisis, and in doing so, prove that love trumps hate.