Rand Paul: Don’t Criticize Immigration Ban Until You Recognize the Problems

Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) defended President Trump’s halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries by saying that people “ought to step back and see if we can agree that there’s a problem in order to decide whether we like the solution.”

Paul said, “I was told about 400 times over a year and a half that he was going to do this so I guess I’m not surprised in the roll out. I was not specifically consulted and obviously there are some things that didn’t go perfectly. But I think really people ought to step back and see if we can agree that there’s a problem in order to decide whether we like the solution. And the problem is pretty clear, that about 40% of people who come to visit our country on a visa overstay their visa and we have no idea where they are. On 9/11 at least two of the hijackers were here on visa. They were traveling back and forth to the Middle East. And we really had no idea where they were or what they were doing and they were overstaying their visa. So there are problems I think in the immigration system that need to be fixed for our safety.”

He added, “I think you have to pause the system from areas of high risk for terrorism until you can improve the system. overall. Do I believe exchange with other cultures is good, people going back and forth is good, trade is good, yes. all of these things are good. But I think you have to make sure the system is working. We need to know virtually 100% of the time when you come and when you leave. It’s called entry and exit. We do need to know that. And here’s the problem that faces Europe. In Europe a million people went into Germany, some of them presented with one name and no papers. So if you call back to Syria and say, my name is so-and-so and you ask for the agency to check this person with one name, there is no agency. It’s chaos over there so vetting these people is very, very difficult. And I think we need to do more vetting of people coming with one name from various countries in the Middle East.”

(h/t The Hill)

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