By Nick Gass
November 17, 2015
Bernie Sanders slammed calls to shut the borders to Syrian refugees, telling supporters at a Monday night campaign rally that "now is not the time for demagoguery and fear-mongering."
“Every American has been appalled and disgusted by the attack against the people of Paris by the terrorist organization ISIS," the independent Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate told a crowd of about 7,000 in Cleveland, according to his campaign. "I know all of us send our condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones. And we pray for the recovery of all those who were injured, many of them seriously."
“In my view, now is the time for developing a serious and effective approach to destroy ISIS. Now is not the time for taking cheap political advantage of this tragedy. Now is the time – as President Obama is trying to do – to unite the world in an organized campaign against ISIS that will eliminate the stain of ISIS from this world,” Sanders said.
The United States must not turn its backs on refugees fleeing violence from places like Syria or Afghanistan, he said, on the same day that governors of more than two dozen states said that they would try to stop the flow of immigrants from Syria out of concerns stemming from the fact that one of the terrorists in Friday's deadly attacks in France came from Syria.
"What terrorism is about is trying to instill terror and fear into the hearts of people. And we will not let that happen. We will not be terrorized or live in fear. During these difficult times, we will not succumb to Islamophobia," Sanders declared. "We will not turn our backs on the refugees who are fleeing Syria and Afghanistan. We will do what we do best and that is be Americans – fighting racism, fighting xenophobia, fighting fear.”
His top rival, Hillary Clinton, has remained silent this week on what to do about the refugees seeking asylum.
During last Saturday's debate, the former secretary of state explained that screening refugees for potential terrorists should be "the number one requirement." Clinton also reiterated her desire to increase the number of refugees allowed in to 65,000.
"I also said that we should increase numbers of refugees," she said. "The administration originally said 10 [thousand]. I said we should go to 65 [thousand], but only if we have as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine, whatever resources it takes. I do not want us to in any way inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country."
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