Dallas, Texas – Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said that the United States should accept Syrian refugees because it is a fundamental part of our country’s identity and “we have always welcomed immigrants and refugees.”
“We can’t act as though we’re shutting the doors to people in need without undermining who we are as Americans,” Clinton said at a campaign stop here Tuesday.
The former secretary of state stressed that vigilance is a key component in vetting incoming refugees, but strongly opposes “hateful rhetoric” used by Republicans who do not want to accept refugees following the terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and hundreds more injured.
So far, governors in more than two dozen states have said they oppose, refuse or wish to temporarily suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees
Nearly 2,000 refugees from Syria have relocated to the United States since 2012, the New York Times reports and President Barack Obama has said that the U.S. will accept about 10,000 more.
Clinton also used the opportunity to assert her experience with foreign policy. She told the crowd of about 1,500 that the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut remind us “America is not just electing a president, we are also electing a Commander-in-Chief.”
Earlier Tuesday, Speaker Paul Ryan called for a “pause” in the Syrian refugee program and legislation to address this may come as soon as this week.
Clinton underscored that admitting refugees was a long-standing tradition in our nation, saying “we have made people feel that if they did their part, they sent their kids to school, they worked hard, there would be a place for them in America."
She has previously called for as many as 65,000 Syrian refugees to be allowed into the country, in step with former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who first called for that figure on the Democratic side.
Clinton’s chief rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, hasn’t proposed a number yet but said Monday that he was “disturbed” by governors who do not want accept Syrian refugees.
"During these difficult times, as Americans, we will not succumb to racism. We will not allow ourselves to be divided and succumb to Islamophobia,” he said at a Cleveland rally. “We will not turn our backs on the refugees.”