Syr­ian refugee pol­icy takes fo­cus in US race

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON: The bloody at­tacks in Paris are putting the Syr­ian refugee cri­sis at cen­ter stage in US pol­i­tics as mi­grants from that war-torn comtry surge to­ward the West and se­cu­rity con­cerns rise. Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial con­tender Marco Ru­bio on Sun­day said the United States should no longer ac­cept Syr­ian refugees be­cause it’s im­pos­si­ble to know whether they have links to Is­lamic mil­i­tants - an ap­par­ent shift from ear­lier state­ments in which the Florida se­na­tor left open the prospects of mi­grants be­ing ad­mit­ted with proper vet­ting.

“It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t,” Ru­bio said Sun­day on ABC’s “This Week.” “Be­cause there’s no way to back­ground check some­one that’s com­ing from Syria. Who do you call and do a back­ground check on them?” The ques­tion of ad­mit­ting Syr­ian refugees has for months been part of the na­tional se­cu­rity dis­cus­sion among 2016 can­di­dates that cuts to the heart of the Amer­i­can iden­tity as a refuge. For­mer Florida gov­er­nor Jeb Bush on Sun­day told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the US should ad­mit Syr­ian Chris­tians, af­ter proper vet­ting. Other Repub­li­can can­di­dates have called for a ban on al­low­ing Syr­i­ans into the US All three Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates have said they would ad­mit Syr­i­ans but only af­ter thor­ough back­ground checks.

But Fri­day night’s mass killings in Paris, which left at least 129 peo­ple dead, of­fered ev­i­dence that may have backed up what many, in­clud­ing Ru­bio, had been warn­ing: Peo­ple with se­cret ties to Is­lamic mil­i­tants could flow across bor­ders within the waves of refugees. Au­thor­i­ties said a Syr­ian pass­port found near one of the Paris sui­cide bombers that had been reg­is­tered last month and trav­eled through three Euro­pean coun­tries along a busy mi­grant cor­ri­dor known for lax con­trols. It was not clear whether the doc­u­ment was real or forged, or whether it be­longed to the sui­cide bomber. Of­fi­cials on Sun­day were still try­ing to iden­tify peo­ple in­volved in the con­spir­acy. They said as many as three of the seven sui­cide bombers who died in the at­tacks were French cit­i­zens.—AP

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