Changes refugee stance: Marco Rubio Refugees

Published: November 16, 2015

Changes refugee stance: Marco Rubio Refugees, Republican candidates for president called on the Obama administration to tighten border controls amid reports that one of the suicide bombers who carried out Friday’s attacks in Paris may have entered Europe as a Syrian migrant.

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said President Barack Obama should “close our borders.”

“If a left-wing politically-correct country like France will close its borders, it’s time for us to put a moratorium on people coming here from countries where there are ISIS or al Qaeda ties,” he told CNN on Saturday.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another GOP presidential candidate, said the difficulty of running background checks on Syrian refugees should preclude further migration from Syria into the U.S.

“You can’t pick up the phone and call Syria, and that’s one of the reasons why I said we won’t be able to take more refugees,” he said on ABC on Sunday.

He added: “You can have 1,000 people come in, and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence, but one of them is an ISIS fighter. If that’s the case, you have a problem, and there is no way to vet that out.”

The news that one of the bombers may have entered Europe amidst the flood of Middle Eastern refugees has galvanized opponents of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy, with critics saying migrants represented a grave security threat.

Jeb Bush, whose support for legal status for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. puts him at odds with the mainstream of the Republican Party, said the U.S. had the capacity to screen refugees based on their religion.

“We do that all the time. We do that,” he said on CNN on Sunday. “It takes almost a year for a refugee to be processed into the United States.”

He called for the U.S. to take a “limited number” and to prioritize Christians who are fleeing religiously motivated persecution in Syria.

The U.S. is preparing to admit at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year, a six-fold increase from the number currently in the country, the White House announced in September.

Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor to President Obama, said the administration had no intention of changing its refugee policy and said it had extensive screening procedures already in place for all Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

“There’s a very careful vetting process that includes our intelligence community, our national Counterterrorism Center, the Department of Homeland Security,” he said on NBC on Sunday.

“We need to sort out how to focus on the terrorists that we need to keep out of the country. But I think we do need to do our part to take those refugees who are in need.”


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