By Ben Kamisar
February 8, 2016
Donald Trump said he'd be able to look into the eyes of Syrian refugee children to tell them they cannot come to schools in America in light of concerns about safely vetting refugees.
"We don’t know where their parents come from, they have no documentation whatsoever," Trump said Monday during a town hall in New Hampshire.
"I’ve talked to the greatest legal people, spoken to the greatest security people. There’s absolutely no way of saying where these people come from. They may be from Syria, they may be ISIS, they may be ISIS related."
During the event, a man who said he was from Connecticut told Trump about plans to relocate Syrian families into the community and let their children come to schools. When asked whether he'd be able to "look at these children" to tell them they couldn't go to school, Trump said: "I can look in their faces and say, ‘You can’t come here.’"
The crowd applauded his answer.
He called for Gulf states in the Middle East to take more initiative on resettling refugees, even with some American monetary support. He also added that many people who migrate are young men, with few women and children, and questioned how they are able to bring some possessions with them while fleeing.
"You see them on cellphones — where do they get their cellphones? This is a migration, they have no anything, but they have cellphones — with ISIS flags on them and worse," Trump said, asking how the those who migrate are able to pay for their cell phone bills.
Republicans and Democrats have sparred over whether to further restrict refugees. Last year's omnibus spending bill made changes to the visa waiver program, but broader language to restrict refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war have stalled.
Republicans have argued that America needs to strengthen its safeguards for refugees in light of terror attacks and concerns that terrorist groups could send agents into America under the guise of an asylum seeker. But Democrats note that it takes more than a year for most refugees to be resettled into the U.S. and believe the current system is sufficient.
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