MCS students engage with the refugee intake process

"As of right now 12.8 million Syrians are in need of refuge, and half of current governors have said no to opening their doors to Syrians. So we (the fifth floor) decided to see what the actual process for applying for Asylum is like, and we discovered it isn’t an easy process at all. There’s a lot of questions and physical tests, that really don’t make you feel at ease. It’s a quite hectic and degrading cycle to go through.  They don’t care about who you are or your struggles; they just want to see if you're useful. I really felt like an object being tossed and played around with, and I felt that way being an American citizen myself, so I can only imagine that for someone who is foreign, who might not speak English, and is quite vulnerable, the process is far more traumatizing." - Amina

"One of the activities really stood out to me - it was about the process of applying for refugee status. We went through most of the steps of applying and it helped me visualize and understand what the process was actually like. It made me understand that this process is unfair, inhumane and degrading to the people going through it because they have to answer all of these questions they don’t know and they have to listen to everything someone says, because if they don’t they can easily be sent back. I think if we made this process simpler and more human it would create less anxiety and nerves for these poor refugees who have no safe place to go." - Pearl

"During the activity about what its like to apply for asylum (refugee status), I learned what it was like and how it felt. Of course, this could never compare to the real thing, but it gave as a sense of how hard it is to finally feel safe." - Julia

"Everyone in the class took part in an activity that was meant to resemble the process of applying for asylum as a Syrian refugee. We played out a very long process in a short amount of time. The difficulties in the process of applying to asylum isn’t given as much attention as whether or not countries decide to take in refugees. I was not aware of how long it took and how unreasonable some of the questions were. With such an extensive background check, refusal to take in refugees comes down to a stereotypical and Islamophobic mindset; two words that present a more accurate description of political leaders who do not want Syrian refugees in their country.  During the activity the overwhelming emotion I had was confusion. Many of the question were hard to understand.  After the activity was finished I realized how dehumanizing and degrading the process felt. There was no consideration for people’s stories or what they had been through. The questioners (teachers) were more concerned with what we could do to them rather than what could happen to us if we did not make it into asylum. This activity highlighted the importance of a story. A vital part of activism is sharing people’s stories to the world. Humanizing Syrian refugees should be an active part of our activism advocating for the resettlement of more refugees." - Ajani

No comments:

Post a Comment