Just a day after a group of governors across the country said their states would not allow refugees fleeing violence, war and ISIS in Syria to enter their home states, House Speaker Paul Ryan said lawmakers could soon vote to “pause” the U.S. refugee program. Ryan said, “This is a moment where it is better to be safe than to be sorry, so we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population.” He suggested a new vetting process be created, but gave no indication of how long the refugee program would be suspended.
Though several GOP candidates also said America should suspend the refugee program, yesterday, President Obama said the purpose of America’s refugee policy—which would allow 10,000 people affected by violence in Syria to resettle in the U.S.—was to help the most vulnerable. “The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism; they are the most vulnerable as a consequence of civil war and strife. We do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”
GOP hopeful Jeb Bush also said he does not think that the program should be suspended, calling it “a noble tradition.”