Ben Carson Says He's Against Syrian Refugees Coming to America

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at a rally at the Henderson Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, November 15, 2015.
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks at a rally at the Henderson Pavilion in Henderson, Nevada, November 15, 2015. | (Photo: Reuters/David Becker)

GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has said he is opposed to the U.S. welcoming 45,000 Syrian refugees, due to security concerns, but indicated that he's open to the idea of sending ground troops to combat the Islamic State terror group.

"There is currently no ability to vet these people. By letting refugees into our country without vetting we are putting America at risk. If our president cannot see the risk, then we must rise to the challenge and protect our country," Carson said in a statement on Monday.

"This morning President [Barack] Obama announced at his press conference that it was our responsibility to accept these refugees. He is wrong. He took an oath to protect and defend this country. There is simply not a way to vet these refugees," he added.

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The retired neurosurgeon insisted that everything must be done to protect the men, women and children who are living at refugee camps in countries such as Jordan and Turkey, but said that U.S. authorities simply have no way of vetting the people.

"Until we have a process that will keep us all safe from what happened in Paris, I believe it is foolish to take in refugees into our country," Carson said in a follow up Facebook post.

As for how he would tackle IS, which has conquered territory in Iraq and Syria but has also attacked Western nations, such as the terror attacks on France on Friday, Carson said that he is open to the idea of sending ground troops to the region.

The GOP frontrunner said that unlike Obama, who has continuously refused to use combat troops, he is ready to listen to the Pentagon and use whatever is necessary to accomplish the mission of defeating the terror group.

"The right number of boots on the ground is whatever number the Pentagon says they need to accomplish that mission and not a single person less. The error of armchair quarterbacking our military will end in my administration," Carson said.

He added that sending ground troops is not what he wants, but asserted that it might very well be what is needed.

Carson said: "The correct answer is not one fewer soldier than what the best and brightest military minds think is necessary. For far too long, we have had a leader that second guesses his commanders. I won't do that."

Carson's warning on refugees echoes what other Republican candidates have said, including comments from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Rubio said during an interview on Sunday that allowing Syrians to come to America could possibly recreate the Paris attacks, with jihadis infiltrating the refugee population in order to carry out acts of violence in the U.S.

"You can have a thousand people come in and 999 of them are just poor people fleeing oppression and violence," Rubio said. "But one of them is an ISIS fighter. If that's the case, you have a problem."

"There's no way to vet that out," he added. "There's no background check system in the world that allows us to find that out because who do you call in Syria to background check them?"

Fellow GOP candidate Donald Trump was also in agreement, telling a crowd of nearly 10,000 people at the Knoxville Convention Center in Tennessee: "We have no documentation on these people. And I said — you probably saw a couple weeks ago — I'm looking at this migration, it's a terrible thing — I have a tremendous heart, I want to take care of people — you look at this migration, I said to my wife the other day: 'You know, they seem like so many men.'"

Democratic presidential candidates, including Hillary Clinton, have agreed that there should be careful screening and vetting of refugees, but said that should not stop the U.S. from opening its doors to them.

"I do not want us to in any way inadvertently allow people who wish us harm to come into our country," Clinton said.

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