About the writer: Isabel Riordan is the daughter of Maureen Ponto of Limestone and Sofio Torres, a Mexican immigrant who returned to his home in San Luis Potosí about a year ago. Isabel is a senior at Herscher High School and columnist for the school newspaper. She hopes to attend college and major in either writing or education. She can be reached at

The death toll in Paris on November 13 amounted to over 120 lives lost, still a fraction of what America lost on September 11.

In wake of this tragedy, I’d hope the world takes a deep breath and thinks before doing something stupid. We need to act logically, not irrationally, and placing the blame on all Muslims or Syrian refugees will do no good. What happened was terrible, but blindly persecuting Muslims will not bring back the ones we’ve lost.

Some may say it is un-American to side with the refugees, but I say that it one of the best ways we can spite ISIS is to care for the refugees. They fight against everything that makes us American, and one of those things that makes us American is our ability to accept people of other cultures, something the terrorists are unable to do. They stand against tolerance, therefore, if we are to be their enemies, we must stand for it.

I do realize the possible risk and danger of letting Syrian refugees into the United States. I wouldn’t put it past the actual terrorists to slip in under the disguise of a refugee, but we can’t let a few spoil the whole bunch. We can’t let our fear of those few make us ban the many more innocent people trying to escape the violence.

Innocent families and children die trying to make the trip to safer countries. If we don’t welcome them, who will? If no one welcomes them, what will become of them? Millions of people could die, and that blood would be on our hands.

The refugees wouldn’t uproot their families, abandon their homes and jobs, and risk making the dangerous journey if they had any other choice. They’re only coming because their own homes are full of life-threatening danger.

I ask that we as Americans, as decent human beings, have the wisdom to not label people because they may have different names, look different, or pray to a different deity.