By: Jonathan S. Hogue ~Opinions & Editorials Editor
In wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, political attention has shifted to the number of Syrian refugees allowed to seek asylum in the U.S. The ensuing political debate attacks America’s image around the world as place where immigrants are accepted with open arms.
To date, more than 2,200 Syrian refugees have sought asylum in the U.S. since the Syrian civil war began in early 2011, CNN reports. Intelligence reports following the attacks in Paris state that the terrorists involved had links to Syria, which has caused leaders in Cincinnati and the rest of the nation to debate how many refugees the U.S. should admit.
After the attacks, the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee Texas and Wisconsin stated that their states will no longer accept Syrian refugees.
The partisanship of this issue comes from the fact that President Obama, Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress have stated the U.S. should do more to help Syrian refugees.
Former Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, called for the U.S. to accept more than the 100,000 quota set by the Obama Administration.
In Cincinnati, the debate over Syrian refugees took a surprising turn when Democratic mayor John Cranley said the Queen City should “call it a pause” and halt the immigration of refugees, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Through social media, Democratic city councilman Chris Seelbach criticized Cranley and governors that took a “knee-jerk” approach to addressing the crisis, stating that political leaders at all levels should accept refugees with open arms.
Cranley’s views, which align with Governor Kasich and members of the Ohio General Assembly, deepen the debate this issue is sure to bring as the war in Syria wages on.