Even though Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted against temporarily stopping the issuance of visas to more than 30 countries with high-risk terrorist areas, he says he believes that the process of vetting refugees has to be fixed.
“There is a real challenge in vetting people from the Middle East,” Rubio told The Daily Signal, adding:
It’s not that we say, ‘We don’t want refugees.’ That’s not what we’re saying. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is we can’t accept refugees that we can’t truly vet, and the vast majority of people coming from the Middle East are not people you can vet.
The amendment Rubio voted against was attached to an Obamacare repeal bill. Part of the language required that individuals from countries participating in the nation’s visa waiver program have to wait a month before coming to America or be subject to additional screening and background checks.
Dozens of conservative leaders who make up the Conservative Action Project called Nov. 30 for tougher vetting of Syrian refugees.
A Rasmussen poll found that a solid majority of conservative voters don’t want any refugees coming in from Syria or the Middle East, apparently for fear that terrorists would slip through. Rubio said he believes that countries in that region have to step up and do their part against the Islamic State terrorist group, or ISIS.
“As part of building a coalition to confront ISIS, we need to turn to our allies in that region, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and ask them to take some of these refugees,” Rubio said:
Culturally, they are more aligned with these people, they’re closer to their home, so they can return once the fighting has stopped. It makes a lot more sense than removing someone halfway across the world to a foreign country where, quite frankly, it’s going to be hard for them to assimilate.
Ken McIntyre contributed to this article.