Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul stated, “Most of the evidence of terrorism so far in our country has had something to do with immigration” but that restrictions should be based on evidence, not religion on Tuesday’s “Happening Now” on the Fox News Channel.
Rand said, “I don’t think we need a religious test, but I do think we need a pause on immigration from the Middle East. I’ve introduced legislation that’s not based on religion, but is based on evidence of terrorist activities, evidence of terrorism training, and evidence that we are at some risk from immigration. So I would put a pause on all immigration, from about 34 countries, some of these countries are non-Islamic, North Korea, Nigeria has a mixture of Christian and Islam, but they all have a high risk for terrorism, and I think we should press pause. Why? Because we have a completely failed immigration system. We have 11 million people who are here illegally, and 40% of them came legally, but have overstayed their visa. So, we need to know who’s here, and whether they’re going to attack us or not. Most of the evidence of terrorism so far in our country has had something to do with immigration. The 19 hijackers came here through our legal immigration system. some were student visas, some were were visitors. The Boston hijacker — the Boston bombers came here, also as asylum seekers. In my town, Bowling Green, Kentucky, we had two Iraqi refugees come here. So, absolutely we need to push pause, we need to have a moratorium until we know whether or not we can actually look at our immigration system and make sure that we’re not letting people come here to attack us.”
He added, “I think it’s crazy if we’re going to have open borders and let anybody come here. This is a big disagreement I’ve had with Marco Rubio is that he says he wants to defend the country, but he’s not really willing to defend the borders. And so we really do have to defend our borders, and it has to be based on a risk assessment. It’s not a religious test. It’s basically based on a risk assessment. We know where terrorism is coming from, we know who’s promoting terrorism, we know who has a significant population who would want to kill us if they get here. But it’s not just our enemies, we also need to be protected against people coming from Europe here.”
Rand concluded, “if you can’t name your enemy, you’ll never defeat your enemy. And the enemy is radical Islam. It’s an aberration. So, I do believe that most people who believe in the Islamic faith are not violent, and that it is a minority. But also, part of defeating this has to be that mainstream, civilized Islam does need to rise up and admit that this is an aberration, and they need to say, strenuously, over and over again, that their religion is a peaceful one, because we need to hear louder voices from the Islamic community.” He also said, “I don’t think we should have a blanket religious test. What we should have is a test that says we have to have more scrutiny on people coming from countries that have a significant terrorist element among them.”
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