|Chelsea Bartholomew and Gina Jannone|
Although they have faced nowhere near the volume of Syrian refugees as Middle Eastern states that surround the war-torn country, European nations have experienced a significant increase in 2015. Western European leaders and publics, with the exception of the far-right wings of each, have largely been welcoming of these refugees, viewing it as a humanitarian duty to aid them. However, the combination of more and more refugees continuing to pour across borders and last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris appear to be increasingly calling this welcome into question.
While the disturbing images and stories of refugees fleeing Syria generated notable interest from the American public from a humanitarian perspective, the attacks in Paris, France, and subsequent terror attacks appear to have dominated the debate over increasing the number of Syrian refugees allowed to resettle in the United States. This environment differs in some ways from that of Europe, where the debate over refugees is certainly framed in security terms by far-right political parties, but is also driven by issues of humanitarianism and integration.