Obama: U.S. 'Can Welcome Refugees' AND 'Ensure Our Own Security'

Brittany M. Hughes | November 16, 2015

(Photo Credit: Creative Commons)

On the heels of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that left 129 dead and hundreds more wounded Friday night, President Obama doubled down on his promise to accept thousands of Syrian refugees into the United States during his remarks at the G20 Summit in Paris Monday morning.

In his speech, Obama said, “Many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves. That’s what they’re fleeing. Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values.”

“Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both,” he added.

Following the Paris attacks, numerous politicians and presidential candidates have called for Obama to reverse his plans to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees into the United States, expressing concern that some of those accepted might be terrorists themselves. The governors of Michigan and Alabama, as well as Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas, have halted plans in their state to resettle Syrians who enter the country.

Some Republican presidential candidates, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have also called for a halt on allowing Syrian refugees into the United States.  

According to numerous reports, at least one of the attackers responsible for Friday’s attacks had previously arrived in Greece as part of a group of Syrian refugees.

From a CNN report published Sunday:

One of three bombers who detonated themselves at the Stade de France late Friday arrived on the Greek island of Leros on October 3 among numerous Syrian refugees, CNN's Christiane Amanpour reported, citing an unnamed French senator who was briefed by the Ministry of the Interior.

The senator told CNN that the man was carrying a fake or doctored Syrian passport, and also a registration document for refugee status issued by Greek authorities. The fingerprints taken by Greek authorities match those of the terrorist who blew himself up at the Stade de France, the senator said.

Watch President Obama's remarks for yourself here: