Refugee crisis hits home with Thanksgiving Address

By Brittany Abuhoff
Staff Writer

In his Thanksgiving address to the nation, President Barack Obama compared Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. to the English settlers that arrived in Massachusetts in November 1620. He asked Americans to show generosity to the Syrian refugees, reminding them that the Pilgrims also had the same motive for fleeing their country for fear of persecution.

“Nearly four centuries after the Mayflower set sail, the world is still full of pilgrims- men and women who want nothing more than the chance for a safer, better future for themselves and their families,” President Obama said.

Over four million Syrians have fled their homes because of conflict, most of whom have begun to find refuge in European countries and now the U.S.

After Daesh (also known as ISIS) attacked and killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, Obama’s plan to permit refugees to enter the U.S. attracted a lot of criticism and controversy.

Following the attacks, recent sources show that American citizens now identify terrorism as the most critical problem our country is facing and that allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the country will heighten that problem.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would limit the number of Syrian and Iraqi refugees being allowed into the U.S. until they are no longer deemed a possible security risk.  The bill, which defied a veto threat made by the White House l, had a 289-137 vote, with 47 Democrats joining 242 Republicans in favor.