Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio stated he is “open” to accepting refugees from the Middle East and Africa if it can be ensured that there aren’t “people who are part of a terrorist organization” in an interview with Boston Herald Radio on Tuesday.
Rubio said he was “embarrassed” Secretary of State John Kerry stated climate change is to blame for the crisis, and people were leaving because of war and terrorism. He added that if US forces had stayed in Iraq, we would have a “more stable Iraq,” and it would “less likely” ISIS could have crossed over from Syria. Rubio continued that the failure to identify “non-Islamists” who opposed Bashar al-Assad, and as a result “radical jihadist groups” are now “the predominant fighting force on the ground,” which are “creating this sort of humanitarian crisis, which ultimately has led to this refugee crisis, both in Syria, now in Iraq, and increasingly other parts of the world as well.”
When asked if the US should “allow tens of thousands of refugees to come in,” Rubio answered, “Well, we’ve always been a country that’s been willing to accept people who have been displaced, and I would be open to that if it can be done in a way that allows us to ensure that among them are not infiltrated — people who are part of a terrorist organization that are using this [unintelligible]. I think overwhelmingly, the vast and overwhelming majority of people that are seeking refuge are not terrorists, of course, but you always are concerned about that.”
He continued that some of the displaced communities, “especially the Christians” “would prefer to stay in the region.” So, in the long-term “we have to have a concise regional strategy that allows, especially the Christians, to be able to go back to their ancient cities and their ancient population centers, where they’ve been for almost 2,000 years, up until recent times.”
Rubio also slammed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, arguing, “she was the secretary of state, she was the architect of the foreign policy of this president, that has been a failure, which has now had a chain number of events that have happened over a period of time, and these are the three, year[s] out consequences of that failed foreign policy. That sort of instability in the region that we cannot isolate ourselves from, it will eventually impact us, now it is potentially destabilizing many of our NATO allies in Europe. And has already, kind of asking questions of us whether we’re going to be prepared to accept the refugees, the way we did, for example, during the civil war in Sudan.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett