The announceme­nt by the White House that the U.S. will take in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees has kicked off a furious debate. Ten thousand sounds like a manageable number, but what about 800,000? That’s the number of Syrians that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to admit over the next year.

Once settled in Germany, few will want to go back to Syria. In time, some substantia­l number will apply for, and receive, German citizenshi­p. That means a German passport, and armed with that document, entry into the United States becomes immeasurab­ly simpler.

The willingnes­s of the Merkel government and of the German people is, in large measure, a gesture of atonement for the past sins of their country. But Merkel is gambling with our chips when she welcomes in almost a million people from a country infested with terrorists who, once establishe­d, will almost certainly be showing up on our doorstep.

Ross K. Baker Political science professor Rutgers University

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