Bush, Rubio's Response to Paris Attacks: No More Syrian Refugees in U.S.
Like the rest of the world, Miami spent the weekend in grief and shock over the brutal terrorist attacks that killed 129 people in Paris. Our two native sons who are jousting for a chance to lead the free world went quite a bit further, however.
Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio haven't agreed on much on the campaign trail, but in the aftermath of the attacks, they each called for a radical response from the White House: a virtual end to Syrian refugees allowed into the United States.
Both slammed President Obama for plans to allow upward of 10,000 Syrians safe haven in the States, claiming there was no way to suss out dangerous radicals from the stream of families fleeing war.
“You can have a thousand people come in and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence,” Rubio told ABC News. “But one of them is an ISIS fighter — if that’s the case, you have a problem.
Bush, meanwhile, suggested the U.S. allow only Christian Syrians to escape the chaos in their homeland.
“There are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now,” Bush told CNN's Jake Tapper. “They’ll be either executed or imprisoned, either by Assad or by ISIS. And I think we should have — we should focus our efforts as it relates to the Christians that are being slaughtered.”
Of course, the fact is that the United States has done less than almost any nation to help the millions of ordinary Syrians whose lives have been upended by civil war and ISIS terror. And there's a valid argument to be made that our own disastrous invasion of Iraq sparked ISIS into being and fueled the mess in Syria.
Doesn't America have a moral responsibility to do something to help resettle the hundreds of thousands fleeing through Europe? Consider the tale of the Salah family, among the 104 Syrians who have resettled in South Florida. As the Miami Herald profiled, the family survived three years of hell on the run before making it to safety in Miami.
If Jeb and Marco had their way, the Salahs would still be living in a tent in Jordan or dodging bullets in Aleppo. As Tapper asked Bush: Isn't there a way for the United States to screen who is arriving to make sure they're not ISIS sympathizers?
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In Rubio and Bush's view, the answer is an emphatic no.
Bush and Rubio have actually offered among the most reasonable responses among GOP presidential contenders. Donald Trump spent the weekend blasting France for not allowing concealed weapons and this morning told CNN he'd consider shuttering mosques in the states. Florida's NRA, meanwhile, used the tragedy as an excuse to rally its supporters behind a bill to strengthen Stand Your Ground in Florida.
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