French President François Hollande is currently on a tour of South America, and visited the country of Argentina yesterday, according to an article by the Associated Press*.
President Hollande made a remark at a press conference, suggesting new Argentine President Mauricio Macri should accept refugees from Syrian and Jordanian camps.
The comment was conveyed via translator and President Macri did not seem to make any visible facial reactions to the comment.
The two men signed many agreements today on issues such as terrorism, but the receiving of refugees was not part of it.
However, I agree with Hollande when he says Argentina should take in refugees.
Argentina has gone through a lot since Macri was sworn in December.
Since he has taken office, he has gone through lengths to hold his country responsible for their issues with the international market that started in 2001. Now he will look to make amends with some of the people his predecessors have upset.
President Obama also announced recently that he will visit the country after his historic visit to Cuba next month, showing that President Macri is serious about helping Argentina rebuild its relationship with the United States.
If Argentina did decide to receive Syrian refugees, it would not be anything new to the country. For one, they have accepted refugees in the past.
Argentina also has the second highest Syrian population in South America, with the first being Brazil. The migration of Syrians peaked in the 20th century, because of wars happening in the Middle East. Coincidentally, I learned in my Ethnicity and Social Movements class this week, that one of the biggest reasons immigration is war.
I am in no way saying the Argentine government should take refugees this very moment.
Along with their money issues, workers are going on strike to protest multiple firings that have occurred. He needs to tend to his own people before he can take in others.
President Macri should not turn away from the idea of placing refugees in the country. He can always plan ahead of time as governments and agreements are made and change and then act how he sees fit.
*The link redirects to the Washington Post’s electronic publishing of the article, but it was written by and for the Associated Press