One week on from the terrorist attacks in Paris, it is clear that the psychological blast zone extends well across the Atlantic and into the political discourse here in the USA.
‘Register all Muslims in a database’ says Donald Trump. ‘We have no way to properly vet these (Syrian) refugees’ says the other Republican candidate for President, Ben Carson. (Not true. Syrian refugees are mostly families with small children and have gone through several rounds of rigorous screenings and interviews by groups such as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, Homeland Security and the State Department before reaching the USA. The vetting process for Syrian refugees is very thorough and can take several years).
Unfortunately the public has always been prone to refugee and immigrant panic at times like these. After Pearl Harbor, there was the forced relocation and incarceration of some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry who lived on the Pacific coast, in camps in the interior of the country [Wikipedia]. Horrible things were said of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi Germany. And now Syrian refugees get the blame for what has happened in Paris because of one attacker’s Syrian passport. (The rest were French and Belgian nationals. So should we stop French and Belgian people from coming to the USA?).