In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida declared on Nov. 15 that the U.S. cannot accept any Syrian refugees, and linked his plea to a fundraising page for his presidential run (video below).
Rubio posted on Twitter: "We won’t be able to take more refugees. It’s not that we aren’t compassionate. But we can’t. No way to background check."
That tweet linked to his website, which includes two "donate" buttons, Rubio's appearance on ABC News on Nov. 15 entitled "Marco Responds to the Paris Attacks on This Week," and a statement.
The problem is not the background checks. The problem is we can’t background check them. You can’t pick up the phone and call Syria. And that’s one of the reasons why I said we won’t be able to take more refugees. It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t. Because there’s no way to background check someone that’s coming from Syria. Who do you call and do a background check on them?
However, according to the New York Times, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in September, "Refugees go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States. Refugees have to be screened by the National Counter Terrorism Center, by the F.B.I. Terrorist Screening Center. They go through databases that are maintained by D.H.S., the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. There is biographical and biometric information that is collected about these individuals."