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Kasich: Wouldn’t Say ‘You Can’t Come In’ To Refugees, But We Should Figure Out Who They Are

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential John Kasich said, “I wouldn’t say to these people, ‘You can’t come in,'” but “if we can’t figure out who they are, and we think they pose a danger to us” refugees from the Middle East and Africa won’t be allowed in on Thursday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

Kasich said, “this would be a place where frankly, we ought to all work together. And I think at this point, I would actually welcome the Congress to weigh in and make sure that we have a procedure that can verify who these people are. I mean, there’s nobody in this country that would want somebody connected to ISIS to be able could come in here.”

When asked how he would determine this, he stated, “it’s how we determine a lot of people that come into this country legally. We try to do the kind of check, and if it requires a change in immigration, which I think frankly, we need. But I wouldn’t say to these people, ‘You can’t come in.’ I mean, we’ve got the Statue of Liberty that says ‘Give us your tired, your poor.’ The people who want to be free. We’re not taking the bulk of these. This is a European problem. But we ought to do some of what we can do to help, including logistics and some humanitarian aid. I think, Sean, we ought to use this situation as an opportunity to get closer to our European allies. So that when we want to extend sanctions on Russia, they’re going to work with us. When we say that we need to form a group to go and deal with ISIS, we can get them. I mean, we’ve become estranged from people who ought to be our best friends. So, look at this as an opportunity.”

Kasich added, after being asked if the US needs to take care of people in the US first, “Sean, you know that we have to. But we’re also a global leader, and we can’t just put our heads in the sand when something like this happens. Do I think that it is — that we can create a system where we can determine who these folks are? I sure as heck would think so. And if we can’t, we then we would have to look at it again. But I think it’s possible to do that Sean.” He also argued that failure to observe red lines and support the Syrian rebels “aggravated” the situation.

He continued, “there are many stories, all the way back into World War II, where we…refused to take a boatload of people into this country. and we don’t really know what happened to them. They happened to be our friends of the Jewish faith. But look, it’s not the same as this. But America has always been welcoming. We’ve just got to to make sure that we properly take care of our security. But to just say, ‘No’ because we’re not 100% sure of anything, I just don’t think is the right approach, Sean.” And that he “would bring the best people in, and make sure we’re not taking bad people in here.”

He also told Hannity, “Your family wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t had immigration.”

Kasich concluded, “I’ve been calling for boots on the ground with a coalition of our partners for, I don’t even know now, is it, months? Maybe even close to a year. We have to go and destroy ISIS on the battlefield, and we have to destroy them with the — in the battle of ideas, both of them. But, if we were to just say, ‘Hey, we’re not getting involved. We’re not interested.’ I want to build a closer relationship with our European allies. And look, let’s up the security, I don’t care what it takes. Let’s get the government bureaucracy and all this political correctness out the door, and let’s figure out who these people are. And if we can’t figure out who they are, and we think they pose a danger to us, well that’s a whole new ballgame, and then of course we we wouldn’t let them in. But let’s create a process and procedure where we can determine this. I share your concern. I think we can meet it it. Look, I can’t guarantee anything. Who — nobody can. But I think that it’s part of America’s responsibility in terms of this global crisis.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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