In an interview with Iowa talk radio host Jan Mickelson yesterday, GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee falsely suggested that the U.S. is not thoroughly vetting the Syrian refugees it is accepting, saying that unlike Vietnamese refugees who were resettled in the U.S. after the Vietnam War, Syrians are merely seeking U.S. benefits because they are “not living a very fancy life.”
While it is true that non-Syrian migrants have attempted to join the refugees traveling to Europe, the U.S. is vetting Syrian refugees identified by the UN who are living in UN refugee camps.
The U.S. should not let Syrian refugees “get on a plane and send them to the United States and be in a culture that they’re totally unprepared for, and perhaps we’re unprepared for why they’re coming,” Huckabee said.
“This country is willing to take in people who are desperate,” he said. “I remember after the Vietnam War, Arkansas took in an enormous number of Vietnamese refugees. And guess what? Those folks worked their tails off, they learned English, their kids ended up becoming the valedictorians half the time. But that was because they wanted to come to America, they wanted freedom, and they decided that they wanted to be part of this great country. And they have certainly succeeded at that, owning businesses and prospering. But just to say that if somebody is not living a very fancy life and they’d like to come here because we’ve given them free benefits, no, we can’t do that.”