Carson: Border Security ‘Key,’ ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’ To Take In Refugees When Others Won’t

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson stated, “the key thing is you have to seal the border.” He also argued with regards to the Syrian refugees, “It doesn’t make any sense to me that we should have to do it, and they’re [other countries in the region] not taking in refugees from their own area” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Lead.”

Carson said that dealing with the illegal immigrants in the US is his “primary area” of disagreement with fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. He continued, “And we’re probably not, actually that far away, even on that issue, because the key thing is you have to seal the border, and almost nothing else after that matters. If you can get that border sealed, and we have the ability to do that, but as a nation, we don’t have the will to do it, and that can be changed pretty quickly, and a lot of things will get better at that point.”

Later in the interview, he was asked about accepting Syrian refugees. Carson stated, “I believe we should encourage the various countries in that region, you know, Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, to take those refugees in. And we should be willing to perhaps help them financially, and with some expertise. But the fact of the matter is, we don’t know who those people are. And the majority of them are young male,  and they could easily be people who are being infiltrated by terrorists, and recognize that once you bring them in, then you’ve got to bring other members of the family in, so, you’re multiplying that number substantially. We need — this is not something that we can necessarily afford to do in terms of exposing our population to that kind of risk right now.”

Carson was asked about possibly screening refugees. He responded, “Well, how did that screening process work for the Tsarnaev brothers? Not so well, did it?”

After guest anchor John Berman countered that they were admitted in 2002, Carson responded that “We have the same screening process now. Unless we improved it very, very substantially, to the point where we could virtually guarantee that we were not importing terrorists, it seems to me like an inappropriate thing to do at this stage. When in fact…we have countries over there, who are refusing to take in refugees. It doesn’t make any sense to me that we should have to do it, and they’re not taking in refugees from their own area. Why should we have to do it?”

Berman then asked whether, since the Tsarnaev’s were radicalized in the US, there should be screening for people already here. Carson answered, “Well, the point being, we don’t have a very good way to screen people who may have a proclivity for the development of radicalization. So, why do we want to expose our population to that if we don’t have to, and when we can encourage and support others in doing that, which is more appropriate?”

Carson was then asked if this “proclivity” is “just being a Muslim?” He said, “I think that proclivity has to do with something that should be studied in more detail. My point is, we need to be very, very careful. We need to understand these things very significantly before we begin bringing in people. And I will tell you that if I was ISIS, I were the global jihadists, and I knew the United States was about to take in 10,000, or 65,000, or 100,000 people from my region, I would infiltrate them with my people.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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