Fairly recently, the son of Presidential candidate Donald Trump tweeted his opinion on whether or not the U.S. should allow Syrian refugees into the country. In the tweet, he compared possible terrorists disguised as refugees as poisoned skittles in a bowl of non-poisoned ones, posing the question, “If there were three poisoned skittles in the bowl, would you risk eating a handful?”
Of course, with the possibility of potentially consuming a poisoned candy, it would be incredibly dangerous to take that risk. However, the real-world problem has a lot more conditions to consider than the hypothetical one that was described.
For starters, the amount of skittles needed in order to accurately portray Trump Jr.’s scenario of three terrorists in the midst of all of the refugees would be almost 11 billion as the risk of a terrorist disguising themselves as a refugee and actually completing an attack is roughly 1 to 1.36 billion according to a recent report by the Cato Institute.
However, wildly underestimating a statistic is far from the worst thing about Trump Jr.’s tweet. The biggest issue is that he compared the lives of human beings who have been forced out of their homeland in order to escape bombings and other terrors of war to candies. Refugees are people, they’re not objects.
If taking the risk of a potential terrorist making it through all of the layers of security processing that refugees have to go through before being allowed into the country, means that thousands of innocent and desperate men, women and children would be able to find a place to be safe, then that’s a risk that we as a nation of decent human beings need to take.
After the attacks that rocked Paris earlier this year, the French president made a statement that the country would still be accepting the refugees that they’d promised to welcome prior to the attacks. If the country that was the target of the attacks that brought the refugee debate to the U.S. can still be welcoming even through the risk of more attacks, then we absolutely can as well.
Helping people escape real, constant terror is more important than trying to be proactive towards the slight potential of an attack happening to us.