November 22, 2015

Point/Counterpoint: Syrian Refugees

Below are a number of comments made by various presidential candidates regarding Syrian refugees. Not surprisingly, there are a wide range of opinions, which allows me to classify this as a Point/Counterpoint post.

Can you match the contender with the statement? Answers at the end of the post - no cheating!

Here we go:
(a) We have welcomed refugees, the tired, huddled masses for centuries, that's been the history of the United States. We should continue to do so. We have to continue to be vigilant to make sure those coming are not affiliated with the terrorists, but we can do that. 
(b) I support the call from humanitarian and refugee organizations for the United States to accept at least 65,000 Syrian refugees next year. If Germany - a country with one-fourth our population - can accept 800,000 refugees this year, certainly we - the nation of immigrants and refugees - can do more. 
(c) You have the refugee organizations that are overwhelmed; I think it's in our national security interests to try and get ahead of this problem. My goal is to make sure they don't have to flee their country... They're not coming here because they want to. People leaving Syria are fleeing tyranny, not to get jobs. 
(d) We're facing the worst refugee crisis since the end of World War II and I think the United States has to do more I would like to see us move from what is a good start with 10,000 to 65,000 and begin immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in.  
(e) I'd sit down with our allies and figure out how we can help, because America is a compassionate country. We saw the image of that four-year-old little boy drowned in Syria (sic) and we can't have those kinds of things. I can't come up with an exact number. You'd have to sit with our allies and work together.
(f) We should take our fair share. We are good people. I don't think the average American has any idea what it's like to live in the Middle East right now. I don't see how you can lead the free world and turn your back on people who are seeking it... 
(g) I'm putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they're going back. They're going back. 
(h) Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we've got cable TV? I don't mean to be trite, I'm just saying we don't know. 
(i) Send them back to a hell hole? That's not the proper policy for the United States and it's certainly not an exhibition of leadership. 
(j) I think it's impossible to give a proper number until we understand the dimensions of the problem. People are leaving Iraq, they're leaving Syria, with just the clothes on their backs. The world has got to respond. The United States should be part of the response. 
(k) We've always been a country that's been willing to accept people who have been displaced, and I would be open to that if it can be done in a way that allows us to ensure that among them are not...people who were, you know, part of a terrorist organization that are using this crisis. 
(l) We are a welcoming nation, and we have accepted a lot of refugees, and I think we will continue to to do. But we also can't accept the whole world, so there are some limits. 
(m) The United States, I believe, has done it's fair share in terms of humanitarian aid...I think the United States honestly, sadly, cannot relax our entrance criteria. We are having to be very careful about who we let enter this country from these war-torn countries to be sure terrorists are not coming.  
How'd you do? Were you able to tell then apart?

Kudos, I think, to those who have maintained consistency in their positions and who have not jumped on the bandwagon simply to stay in the game. For those who previously said one thing and are now, post-Paris, saying something else, do you think they remember where they used to stand on this only a couple of months ago?

And, perhaps more importantly, do you think any reporters are going to call them on it where they're being inconsistent?


(a)  Ted Cruz  (b) Martin O'Malley (c) Lindsey Graham (d) Hillary Clinton (e) Chris Christie (f) Graham (g) Donald Trump (h) Mike Huckabee (i) Jeb! Bush (j) Bernie Sanders (k) Marco Rubio (l) Rand Paul (m) Carly Fiorina