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Baltimore Prepares to Receive Syrian Refugees, with Federal Help


Only a few days after President Obama announced that the United States would take another 10,000 Syrian refugees, CBS News in Baltimore ran a story about that city’s preparations to receive the new arrivals:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Baltimore has resettled more than two dozen Syrians so far this year, and they are preparing to help more.

“They are desperate to seek safety,” the IRC’s executive director, Ruben Chandrasekar, said. “They are desperate to be given a new chance at a new life.”

The International Rescue Committee in Baltimore has welcomed 26 Syrians by providing them with the tools to succeed, including a furnished apartment and even employment.

Twenty-six whole refugees? Clearly they are ready for the thousands to come.

This sounds like the same failure of imagination that led so many well-meaning people in Europe to panic over the past week, as they were confronted with the reality of the enormous population transfer they endorsed in theory. Asylum and migration, like every other social phenomenon, is a numbers game. Twenty-six asylum-seekers can be carefully vetted, provided with “furnished apartments and even employment,” and monitored to ensure their assimilation is fairly smooth for both themselves and the host society. It is a very different story when 10,000 people are involved, to say nothing of the astonishing human tide sweeping into Europe. The approach that works for a few dozen people cannot simply be scaled up to handle thousands.

It is also impossible to thoroughly review applicants when thousands are rushed through the process, but that does not stop the International Rescue Committee from making some confident predictions about the inbound refugees:


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