Our hearts are broken for the communities in Syria and Turkey who have been impacted by the devestating earthquakes today, Monday February 6, 2023. Not only has this natural disaster destroyed homes and buildings throughout the area, causing significant loss of life, but the harsh winter weather conditions put displaced residents and those still trapped under rubble at an even greater risk while rescue efforts are still underway.
Here at KIAC, we can’t help but think about how this natural disaster will have implications for immigration. Syria is a country that has been ravaged by civil war for over a decade. During this time, nearly 7 million refugees have fled Syria in search of safety, and another nearly 7 million residents have been displaced within the country.
The devastation caused by this earthquake has distroyed buildings and infrastructure in an area that has already seen so much destruction. Now thousands, if not millions, of residents will be displaced in a region where there is already a significant lack of resources.
Natural disasters like this will only continue to increase in prevalence due to the worsening climate crisis. The United States and other developed nations are contributing more heavily to the climate devastation, and yet developing nations are more adversely affected due to location and inadequate infrastructure.
Comprehensive immigration reform is needed in the United States. We need a clear path to welcome those seeking safety and refuge in the U.S. and the systems in place to support them once they arrive.