The surge of refugees fleeing Syria and other war-torn regions is putting immense pressure not only on Europe but also the United States, as the Obama administration faces calls to take a more active role in the humanitarian crisis.
At the same time, some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are warning that loosening immigration rules to take them in would pose a serious security risk. For the Obama administration – and the one that succeeds it – there are no easy answers.
To be sure, many of the millions fleeing civil war and terror come from countries with a strong Islamic State presence, and lawmakers have warned that applicants must be properly vetted for terror ties. But the images emerging from Europe over the past several weeks underscore the humanitarian imperative -- photos of a drowned boy's body washing up on a Turkish beach, of clashes in Hungary over shuttered train routes to Western Europe, of an abandoned truck filled with refugees' corpses in Austria.
The pace and scale of displacement, and the extreme measures refugees are taking to escape their own battered homeland, has quickly made Syria’s problem everyone’s problem.