ORLANDO, Florida – In the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris, Republican presidential candidates had harsh words for the refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war.
“We have no way of knowing” whether the refugees are terrorists, former Sen. Rick Santorum said, arguing that accepting refugees into the U.S. would bolster ISIS by draining the region of those who oppose radical forces.
At the multi-candidate Sunshine Summit in Florida on Saturday morning and elsewhere, Republicans condemned President Obama for his plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees next year..
“We don’t need 200,000 new people,” Sen. Rand Paul said, refusing to answer whether he, as Donald Trump has previously said, would remove them from the country if he were president. “I will oppose them being here,” Paul said.
“I am angry that President Obama unilaterally decides that we’ll accept up to 100,000 Syrian refugees while his administration admits we cannot determine their ties to terrorism,” Carly Fiorina said on Saturday afternoon.
Sen. Ted Cruz called the plan to bring in refugees “lunacy” on Fox News.
At an event in Texas, Donald Trump said you’d “have to be insane” to allow refugees in the U.S.
“During the debate last week, I stated that we should not admit those claiming to be Syrian refugees and was condemned by the left for that position. I was right and the events in Paris affirm that,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said in a statement.
Ben Carson told reporters Friday night, “To bring them here when we have tens of millions of our own people who are suffering economically, it doesn’t make any sense.” He argued that it would be “malpractice” for the jihadists to not infiltrate refugee groups.