Nov 16 – U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush called for assisting the Christian refugees out of Syria in an interview to CNN on Sunday.
The former governor of Florida, who is also brother of ex-President George Bush was discussing the fallout from Friday’s attacks in Paris that left at least 127 people dead as well as the U.S. taking in refugees from Syria.
When asked by host of CNN’s State of the Union show about how he would handle the migrants coming to the United States if he were president Bush replied that the country needed to first eradicate ISIS from Syria and Iraq as that should be “foremost responsibility.” On the refugees he said: “We need to do a thorough screening and take in a limited number … There are Christians in Syria that have no place now. They’ll be executed or imprisoned either by Assad or by ISIS. I think we should focus our efforts as it relates to the refugees on the Christians as they’re being slaughtered.”
To the question how the U.S. would screen the refugees to ascertain their religion, Bush acknowledged that it could take time to do so but added “we do that all the time … it can take up to a year [for the screening].”
The current U.S. administration’s plan to take in 10,000 refugees from Syria has been called into question by Republican presidential candidates following the Paris attacks. After French officials claimed the discovery of a Syrian passport near the body of one of the attackers and later identified him as a refugee who was seeking asylum in Europe, fears have grown that militants may be posing as refugees or trying to infiltrate refugee camps in a bid to gain entry into the EU.
Bush described the current situation as “a threat against Western civilization, and we need to lead. The United States has pulled back and when we pull back, voids are filled. And they’re filled now by Islamic terrorism that threatens our country.”
According to Reuters, Europe is dealing with its worst migrant crisis since World War II with Germany taking the bulk of an estimated one million refugees expected this year.
Germany, which has been seen as the most welcoming to migrants escaping brutalities in the Middle East and North Africa, has come under intense pressure for its policy with European nations calling for it to review procedures that allow people in. Head of the German intelligence agency on Sunday called for “orderly procedures” regarding the handling of the daily entry of thousands of refugees into the country, saying extremists could exploit the sometimes chaotic migration situation.