Where the US presidential candidates stand on the refugee crisis

Published September 22nd, 2015 - 07:52 GMT

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With hundreds of thousands of refugees from war-torn nations in the Middle East and North Africa scrambling to find safe haven abroad, many have called on the US -- a nation made up largely of immigrants and refugees from all over the world -- to accept its fair share. Though the Obama administration announced this week that it would raise its quota by 15,000 in 2016 (and another 15,000 in 2017), most of the presidential candidates competing to replace Obama next year are advocating a more conservative approach. Some are suggesting America should shut its doors completely. Here's where the US candidates stand on accepting refugees.

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Republican candidate Jeb Bush, who is the brother of George W. Bush, said he believes the US should only take Christians from Iraq and Syria whose lives were in danger. The former Florida governor apparently doesn’t think the US should give refuge to Muslims.
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Image 1 of 9:  1 / 9Republican candidate Jeb Bush, who is the brother of George W. Bush, said he believes the US should only take Christians from Iraq and Syria whose lives were in danger. The former Florida governor apparently doesn’t think the US should give refuge to Muslims.

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Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who claims to be the son of refugees from Cuba, vaguely stated that his administration would be “potentially open” to “the relocation of some of these individuals [refugees] at some point in time to the United States,” but that there was a “concern” that terrorists had hid themselves among the refugees.
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Image 2 of 9:  2 / 9Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who claims to be the son of refugees from Cuba, vaguely stated that his administration would be “potentially open” to “the relocation of some of these individuals [refugees] at some point in time to the United States,” but that there was a “concern” that terrorists had hid themselves among the refugees.

Enlarge
Carly Fiorina, a millionaire business executive turned politician, said the US 'sadly cannot relax [its] entrance criteria' for refugees, warning that 'terrorists' could have infiltrated the group. Oddly, she said Europe needed to do more, since 'they have not done as much as the United States has done on that front.'
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Image 3 of 9:  3 / 9Carly Fiorina, a millionaire business executive turned politician, said the US "sadly cannot relax [its] entrance criteria" for refugees, warning that "terrorists" could have infiltrated the group. Oddly, she said Europe needed to do more, since "they have not done as much as the United States has done on that front."

Enlarge
Rand Paul, a physician from Kentucky who's running on a libertarian platform, said he thinks the US will accept some refugees but that 'there are some limits' because it 'can't accept the whole world.' He said some of the Iraqi and Somali refugees accepted by the US in the past had later tried to attack America.
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Image 4 of 9:  4 / 9Rand Paul, a physician from Kentucky who's running on a libertarian platform, said he thinks the US will accept some refugees but that "there are some limits" because it "can't accept the whole world." He said some of the Iraqi and Somali refugees accepted by the US in the past had later tried to attack America.

Enlarge
Former US Secretary Of State and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton took a more liberal view. She said there “should be an emergency global gathering” where the UN 'tries to get commitments” of individual countries to take specific numbers of refugees. She added that “obviously” the US has “to do [its] part,” too.
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Image 5 of 9:  5 / 9Former US Secretary Of State and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton took a more liberal view. She said there “should be an emergency global gathering” where the UN "tries to get commitments” of individual countries to take specific numbers of refugees. She added that “obviously” the US has “to do [its] part,” too.

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Martin O'Malley also took a liberal stance. After the US State Department said it planned to take only 5,000-8,000 refugees in 2016, the former governor of Maryland who's running for president on the Democratic ticket, said America should raise that number to 65,000. O'Malley said the US was a 'generous' and 'compassionate' place.
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Image 6 of 9:  6 / 9Martin O'Malley also took a liberal stance. After the US State Department said it planned to take only 5,000-8,000 refugees in 2016, the former governor of Maryland who's running for president on the Democratic ticket, said America should raise that number to 65,000. O'Malley said the US was a "generous" and "compassionate" place.

Enlarge
Billionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump flip-flopped on the issue, initially saying that the US should help take in refugees because of the “unbelievable humanitarian problem” but backpedaling the very next day with a statement saying the US 'has [its] own problems… [and] we cannot help everybody through[out] the world.”
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Image 7 of 9:  7 / 9Billionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump flip-flopped on the issue, initially saying that the US should help take in refugees because of the “unbelievable humanitarian problem” but backpedaling the very next day with a statement saying the US "has [its] own problems… [and] we cannot help everybody through[out] the world.”

Enlarge
Though he's the son of a Cuban refugee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said “it doesn’t make sense” to settle refugees in the US because the goal 'is to return them to their homes.” This is a 180 from his stance in 2014, when he specifically said the US should offer homes to refugees from Syria. Get your story straight, boy!
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Image 8 of 9:  8 / 9Though he's the son of a Cuban refugee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said “it doesn’t make sense” to settle refugees in the US because the goal "is to return them to their homes.” This is a 180 from his stance in 2014, when he specifically said the US should offer homes to refugees from Syria. Get your story straight, boy!

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Renowned neurosurgeon and right-wing politician Ben Carson said the US should not help take in any refugees, because they “could easily be people who’ve been infiltrated by terrorists.” He said Middle Eastern countries should instead be the ones to shoulder the burden.
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Image 9 of 9:  9 / 9Renowned neurosurgeon and right-wing politician Ben Carson said the US should not help take in any refugees, because they “could easily be people who’ve been infiltrated by terrorists.” He said Middle Eastern countries should instead be the ones to shoulder the burden.

Enlarge

1

Republican candidate Jeb Bush, who is the brother of George W. Bush, said he believes the US should only take Christians from Iraq and Syria whose lives were in danger. The former Florida governor apparently doesn’t think the US should give refuge to Muslims.

Image 1 of 9Republican candidate Jeb Bush, who is the brother of George W. Bush, said he believes the US should only take Christians from Iraq and Syria whose lives were in danger. The former Florida governor apparently doesn’t think the US should give refuge to Muslims.

2

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who claims to be the son of refugees from Cuba, vaguely stated that his administration would be “potentially open” to “the relocation of some of these individuals [refugees] at some point in time to the United States,” but that there was a “concern” that terrorists had hid themselves among the refugees.

Image 2 of 9Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who claims to be the son of refugees from Cuba, vaguely stated that his administration would be “potentially open” to “the relocation of some of these individuals [refugees] at some point in time to the United States,” but that there was a “concern” that terrorists had hid themselves among the refugees.

3

Carly Fiorina, a millionaire business executive turned politician, said the US 'sadly cannot relax [its] entrance criteria' for refugees, warning that 'terrorists' could have infiltrated the group. Oddly, she said Europe needed to do more, since 'they have not done as much as the United States has done on that front.'

Image 3 of 9Carly Fiorina, a millionaire business executive turned politician, said the US "sadly cannot relax [its] entrance criteria" for refugees, warning that "terrorists" could have infiltrated the group. Oddly, she said Europe needed to do more, since "they have not done as much as the United States has done on that front."

4

Rand Paul, a physician from Kentucky who's running on a libertarian platform, said he thinks the US will accept some refugees but that 'there are some limits' because it 'can't accept the whole world.' He said some of the Iraqi and Somali refugees accepted by the US in the past had later tried to attack America.

Image 4 of 9Rand Paul, a physician from Kentucky who's running on a libertarian platform, said he thinks the US will accept some refugees but that "there are some limits" because it "can't accept the whole world." He said some of the Iraqi and Somali refugees accepted by the US in the past had later tried to attack America.

5

Former US Secretary Of State and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton took a more liberal view. She said there “should be an emergency global gathering” where the UN 'tries to get commitments” of individual countries to take specific numbers of refugees. She added that “obviously” the US has “to do [its] part,” too.

Image 5 of 9Former US Secretary Of State and Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton took a more liberal view. She said there “should be an emergency global gathering” where the UN "tries to get commitments” of individual countries to take specific numbers of refugees. She added that “obviously” the US has “to do [its] part,” too.

6

Martin O'Malley also took a liberal stance. After the US State Department said it planned to take only 5,000-8,000 refugees in 2016, the former governor of Maryland who's running for president on the Democratic ticket, said America should raise that number to 65,000. O'Malley said the US was a 'generous' and 'compassionate' place.

Image 6 of 9Martin O'Malley also took a liberal stance. After the US State Department said it planned to take only 5,000-8,000 refugees in 2016, the former governor of Maryland who's running for president on the Democratic ticket, said America should raise that number to 65,000. O'Malley said the US was a "generous" and "compassionate" place.

7

Billionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump flip-flopped on the issue, initially saying that the US should help take in refugees because of the “unbelievable humanitarian problem” but backpedaling the very next day with a statement saying the US 'has [its] own problems… [and] we cannot help everybody through[out] the world.”

Image 7 of 9Billionaire businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump flip-flopped on the issue, initially saying that the US should help take in refugees because of the “unbelievable humanitarian problem” but backpedaling the very next day with a statement saying the US "has [its] own problems… [and] we cannot help everybody through[out] the world.”

8

Though he's the son of a Cuban refugee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said “it doesn’t make sense” to settle refugees in the US because the goal 'is to return them to their homes.” This is a 180 from his stance in 2014, when he specifically said the US should offer homes to refugees from Syria. Get your story straight, boy!

Image 8 of 9Though he's the son of a Cuban refugee, Texas Senator Ted Cruz said “it doesn’t make sense” to settle refugees in the US because the goal "is to return them to their homes.” This is a 180 from his stance in 2014, when he specifically said the US should offer homes to refugees from Syria. Get your story straight, boy!

9

Renowned neurosurgeon and right-wing politician Ben Carson said the US should not help take in any refugees, because they “could easily be people who’ve been infiltrated by terrorists.” He said Middle Eastern countries should instead be the ones to shoulder the burden.

Image 9 of 9Renowned neurosurgeon and right-wing politician Ben Carson said the US should not help take in any refugees, because they “could easily be people who’ve been infiltrated by terrorists.” He said Middle Eastern countries should instead be the ones to shoulder the burden.

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