Of the 22 presidential candidates approached by The Guardian to give their prescription for America’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, only two favored taking in more refugees. Only one, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, actually gave a figure.
The Guardian asked each campaign two questions: “Should the US be accepting more refugees? And, as president, how would each candidate define US policy toward those seeking asylum from war-torn and impoverished countries?”
Among 17 Republican candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is the only one who has said positively that the United States should be taking in more refugees. “I think we do have a responsibility in terms of taking some more folks in, making sure they assimilate, and at the same time helping people to actually be safe as they move,” he told ABC. (Some others in the Republican field gave the question a “maybe;” Scott Walker switched the topic to ISIS; Bobby Jindal called the idea “ridiculous.”)
Not only did O’Malley say that the U.S. should be accepting more refugees; he even said how many. On Friday, O’Malley pushed for 65,000 Syrian refugees to be taken in over the next year. That’s half the number of refugees the U.N. Refugee Agency approved for foreign resettlement back in December, which according to the Washington Examiner would be a typical fraction for the U.S. to accept.
“If Germany — a country with one-fourth our population — can accept 800,000 refugees this year, certainly we — the nation of immigrants and refugees — can do more,” he said. Currently the U.S. has committed to accepting up to 8,000 refugees.
That O’Malley stands alone on this issue, is not going unnoticed. The Atlantic just published an opinion piece favoring an aggressive refugee policy and put the otherwise unnoticed candidate’s name right in the headline.
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