Taking in ISIS children makes us safe

Who’s afraid of six little orphans? asked Cathy Galle. Belgians, that’s who. After the government agreed to repatriate six children of Belgian ISIS fighters from a refugee camp in Syria, rightwingers sounded the alarm, saying the kids might be radicals—or worse, their militant mothers might still be alive and would then be allowed to migrate to Belgium. “Emotions run high” on both sides of the issue: Opponents of accepting the children say Belgium has already been attacked by terrorists, notably in the 2016 ISIS suicide bombings that killed 32 in Brussels, and can’t risk letting in more. Proponents point out that these are Belgian children stuck in inhumane conditions. In fact, letting them in is both a humanitarian and national-security solution, as Heidi De Pauw of the NGO Child Focus points out. She just got back from a trip to the Syrian camp, where she saw kids growing up in an atmosphere of Islamist radicalization. The choice, she says, is clear. We can bring the kids and their mothers home, where they can be monitored and deradicalized. Or we can wait “for the Kurds to open the doors over there and have ISIS widows come here illegally,” perhaps to attack us. Taking in Belgian ISIS families is our best defense against them.