Tuesday at a press conference with French President Francois Hollande, President Barack Obama declared it “our humanitarian duty” to help out with refugees fleeing the Middle East.
Obama said, “Americans will not be terrorized. I say all this because another part of being vigilant, another part of defeating terrorists like ISIL is upholding the rights and freedoms that define our two great republics. That includes freedom of religion. That includes equality before the law. There have been times in our history in moments of fear when we have failed to uphold our highest ideals and it has been to our lasting regret. We must uphold our ideals now. each of us, all of us, must show that America is strengthened by people of every faith and every background.”
He continued, “Related to this, I want to note that under President Hollande, France plans to welcome 30,000 additional Syrian refugees over the next two years. Here in the United States, refugees coming to America go through up to two years of intense security checks, including bio-metric screening. Nobody who sets foot in America goes through more screening than refugees. We’re prepared to share these tools with France and our European partners. As Francois has said, our humanitarian duty to help desperate refugees and our duty to our security, those duties go hand in hand. On the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, there are words we know so well. Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free. That’s the spirit that makes us American. That’s the spirit that binds us to France. That’s the spirit we need today.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN