By Erin Banes
CCC Journalism Program
Young voters at Camden County College have mixed feelings about whether America should accept more Syrian refugees, and neither of the major presidential candidates is giving them peace of mind.
Republican Donald Trump stated on his website he wants to implement new screening procedures to prevent terrorists from entering the United States. However, in a speech on radical Islam in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump said, “The size of current immigration flow is simply too high to perform adequate screenings.” Therefore, he proposed America “suspends, on a temporary basis, immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world.”
Democrat Hillary Clinton wrote on her blog Trump’s proposal to deny entry to all Syrian refugees is “un-American” and “goes against everything we stand for as a country.” In an interview with CNN she shared on her website, Clinton explained Trump’s plan would send a message of disrespect to a “majority of Muslim nations, many of whom we have to work with in order to defeat terrorism.”
Current students and recent graduates of Camden County College expressed a range of opinions about the issue.
Michael Roback, a sophomore majoring in communications, said, “We’re not obligated to allow refugees into our country, but we should if we have the resources.” He added he was more comfortable with Clinton’s plan because “Donald Trump wants to cut us off while Hillary wants to build relationships.”
Three friends, Channy Danh, Brenda Vidals and Dan Nguyen, who attend CCC through the Pennsauken vocational high school, have mixed opinions on the subject.
Danh told a story of how her mother ran away from Vietnam when she was young: “She had to walk through the jungles, because she would have gotten arrested if she was caught. Nobody was allowed to leave.” Because of this, Danh expressed empathy for the refugees but said she still believes accepting Syrian refugees is too great of a risk.
Vidals voiced concerns about what the U.S. would do with the refugees upon arrival. “Where would we put them?” she asked. “We already have homeless people from our own country to take care of first.”
Nguyen said she believes the U.S. should install safe zones for refugees in Syria, “but we need everyone to help; this is not just the United States’ problem.”
All three said they agree with Trump’s ideas but don’t believe he has the credibility to pull them off.
Brian Beebe, a political science major who graduated from CCC in 2014, said “I don’t mind eventually letting refugees into our country, but not right now.” He added if all the moderates in Syria flee that country, only extremists would remain, enabling them to take over Syria.
Beebe said he doesn’t believe any of the 2016 presidential candidates has ideas that would work and “Trump and Hillary are both as likely to start a world war.”