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During Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump asserted that his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton wants a 550% increase in the number of Syrian refugees entering the United States.
In response to a question from moderator Chris Wallace about a private speech Clinton gave in which she said she favored “open borders,” Clinton condemned Wikileaks as an ally of Russia. Trump dismissed this as a distraction from the original question.
“She wants open borders… people are going to come in from Syria,” he argued. “He wants 550% more people than Barack Obama and he has thousands and thousands of people and they have no idea where they come from.”
The issue of what percentage of an increase in the number of Syrian refugees being granted asylum in the United States Clinton would prefer has been one of the most prominent issues regarding immigration in this campaign. The White House announced in August that the United States had admitted 10,000 Syrian refugees, the upper limit in the number acceptable to the Obama administration so far.
A month later, Clinton said in an interview on CBS that she believed that number to be far too low. “I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in,” she said in September.
The website Politifact, checking Trump’s claim that Clinton was seeking a 500% increase in the number of refugees from Syria, found the actual number based on her September statements to be 550%.