Refugee Rhetoric: What Are the Presidential Candidates Saying?

Ted Cruz

Cruz openly advocates for screening and accepting Christian refugees, but “that Muslims fleeing the Syrian civil war should be repopulated to other Muslim countries.” In an interview with CNN, he stated, “there is no doubt we would need to vet anyone coming in, but there is no indication that we have Muslims pretending to be Christians in the coming refugee wave.”CNN Cruz

“Cruz has applied a “religious test” to judge which refugees to admit, in the words of the White House, telling reporters across South Carolina this weekend that he would admit all persecuted Christians to the U.S. but no persecuted Muslims.”



Jeb Bush 

Similarly to Cruz, Bush feels that the U.S. should only accept Christian refugees from Syria.

CNN BushWhile campaigning in Florence, SC, Bush shared his perspective on refugees: “At a minimum, we ought to be bringing people like orphans and people who are clearly not going to be terrorists. Or Christians. There are no Christian terrorists in the Middle East, they’re persecuted, they are religious minorities.”



Donald Trump 

Trump is skeptical of refugees. While on CNBC, he said, “we have no idea who these people are, we are the worst when it comes to paperwork…this could be CNN Trumpone of the great Trojan horses.”

“Trump has been saying for weeks on the campaign trail that the U.S. should not accept refugees from the civil war torn country, and he says he’s only standing by that position stronger in the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris.”



Hilary Clinton 

Clinton has be outward with opposition to the stance GOP candidates have taken on Syrian refugees. On Twitter, she shared that “we’ve seen a lot of hateful rhetoric from the GOP. But the idea that we’d turn away refugees because of religion is a new low.” According to CNN, Clinton believes that rejecting refugees does not comply with “American values.”

CNN Clinton“We can’t act as though we are shutting the door to people in need without undermining who we are as Americans,” said Clinton.

During the second Democratic Debate, “Clinton supported accepting refugees, but called for ‘as careful a screening and vetting process as we can imagine.’ Clinton, who has previously stated that the U.S. should accept as many as 65,000 new refugees, said “I do not want us to in any way inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country.”


Bernie Sanders 

CNNAlthough Sanders feels similarly to Clinton, he has been less conservative with his rhetoric. “I am disturbed by some of what I am hearing from my Republican colleagues, and I will just say this: During these difficult times, as Americans we will not succumb to racism. We will not allow ourselves to be divided and succumb to Islamophobia… we will not turn our backs on the refugees.”


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