Withdrawal Of The Syrian Refugee Crisis

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This policy memo addresses the current possible U.S. options to the Syrian refugee crisis. I have identified three different options: Increase Syrian refugee resettlement commitments, establish safe zones in northern Syria, or seal the Syrian border. As conditions continue to deteriorate in Syria and the number of refugees continues to increase, it is critical that you strengthen the U.S. position in the country of Syria. The establishment of safe zones would align our moral, strategic, and diplomatic interests more than any other possible policy. Half of the electorate or more wants refugees to establish safe homelands near or in their country, if possible, reducing the perceived risk of increasing potential terrorism in the United States, the notion grounded in reality or not. Also, historically, refugees have been allowed safe harbor in United States and we could continue in such tradition, in the safest possible way.

BACKGROUND

The conflict in Syria between the government of Bashar al-Assad and various other forces, which started in the spring of 2011, continues to cause displacement within the country and across the region. By the end of 2014, approximately 7.6 million people were internally displaced and 3.7 million Syrians had fled the country since the start of the conflict. Over 21.5 million people, or half of the country’s pre-war population, have been displaced. The refugee situation is urgent, and it has placed an enormous burden on
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