Republican Senator Rand Paul Voices Refugee Crisis Concerns

Oct 3, 2016

Republican Senator Rand Paul speaks to students.
Credit Becca Schimmel

Senator Rand Paul is speaking out against accepting refugees from countries considered to have a high risk of terrorism, as well as the vetting process for Syrian refugees.

The Bowling Green Republican is critical of using federal dollars to resettle refugees in the U.S. During a visit to Western Kentucky University Monday, Paul said he thinks refugees should instead depend on sponsorships from third-party groups, like churches or non-governmental organizations.

“So, I’m not against it. My church here in town helped some of the first Bosnian families to come to town who’ve become a good part of our community. But at the same time I don’t think we should open our borders and say to the world, ‘Come to America.’”

Refugees are encouraged to become self-sufficient in four to six months after arriving in the U.S. Paul says although there are refugees who have contributed to their new communities, the U.S shouldn’t make refugee resettlement a high priority.

Paul says America’s allies in the Middle East should take in more Syrian refugees.

“We really should have a program where you come to work, I don’t think the refugee program should be one of government assistance or putting people in government housing. It should be allowing people to come who want to work and have a sponsor,” Paul said.

Bowling Green will be resettling 40 Syrian refugees this month.