Following the Paris terrorist attacks, the Syrian refugee crisis has grown even more catastrophic after a growing list of U.S. states have refused to accept those fleeing the war-torn country. This reaction follows the news that one of the suspected terrorists entered Europe as a Syrian refugee. So, as France continues to launch airstrikes over ISIS targets in Syria, doors are being increasingly closed here in the United States. Of course, the issue of whether states can block refugees is still up to the federal government to decide.
On Wednesday at a Philippines summit, President Barack Obama spoke out against the Republicans who are leading the opposition against Syrian refugees. He believes that much of the rhetoric used by certain governors, congressmen and women, and GOP candidates in effect “only serves to strengthen the Islamic State terror group.” Here are the key passages from Obama’s speech:
“Isil seeks to exploit the idea that there’s war between Islam and the west, and when you see individuals in positions of responsibility suggesting Christians are more worthy of protection than Muslims are in a war-torn land, that feeds the Isil narrative. It’s counter-productive. And it needs to stop.
“And I would add, these are the same folks who suggested they’re so tough that just ‘talk to Putin’ or staring down Isil [will work] … but they are scared of widows and orphans coming into the United States of America as part of our tradition of compassion. At first they were too scared of the press being too tough on them in the debates. Now they are scared of three-year-old orphans. That doesn’t seem so tough to me.”
Obama’s speaking about a number of Republicans, and it’s almost impossible to hit them all because so many have been outspoken on the Syrian refugee crisis. The statement seems directly pointed at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who said he wouldn’t make an exception to admit Syrian “orphans under the age of 5.” Christie followed up by telling CNN that Obama created the refugee crisis:
“The president’s the person who created this entire situation. He didn’t keep his word when he drew a red line in Syria. He allowed the situation in Syria to happen, he hasn’t set up a no-fly zone that could create a safe haven for these refugees to live safely in their own country, rather than having to scatter all across the world. And he’s the one who’s casting aspersions? It’s a joke. And he’s a joke on this issue.”
On Thursday morning, Christie also said the FBI cannot properly screen refugees, so “that should be the end of the conversation.”
Now, Texan Sen. Ted Cruz believes that Obama is talking directly to him, and he would like Obama to “insult me to my face”:
“Let me suggest something Mr. President: If you want to insult me, you can do it overseas, you can do it in Turkey, you can do it in foreign countries. But I would encourage you, Mr. President, come back and insult me to my face. Let’s have a debate on Syrian refugees right now. We can do it anywhere you want. I’d prefer it in the United States and not overseas where you’re making the insults.”
Cruz would prefer a showdown on a cable-news network “on any station.” Stay tuned on this one, folks.
There’s also the matter of Obama’s Putin reference. This may have been directed toward Donald Trump, who says he and Putin would get along well. They’d easily be able to talk out any issue because “He does not like Obama at all.” Trump has also been very vocal about Syrian refugees. He says Obama wants to accept 250 refugees who “could be ISIS. It could be the great Trojan horse.” Trump believes that a better option is to “build a big, beautiful safe zone in Syria” for the refugees.
On Thursday morning, Obama renewed his sentiments on Syrian refugees by saying, “The idea that somehow they pose a more significant threat than all the tourists who pour into the United States every single day just doesn’t jive with reality.”