Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told an audience at the conservative Eagle Forum conference over the weekend that Syrian refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. "could be people who have a nefarious purpose for wanting to be here," and questioned their true motivation.
"Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we've got cable TV?" the former governor of Arkansas asked. "I don't mean to be trite. I'm just saying: We don't know." Instead of coming to the United States, Huckabee wants to see the refugees go to Saudi Arabia. "We will send some assistance through our charitable organizations for some hospitals and schools," he said. "We will design the curriculum for those schools. They won't be madrassas to teach terrorism."
As for a few of Huckabee's fellow GOP candidates, Ben Carson told The Washington Post he believes refugees who have been screened should be allowed into the U.S., while the campaign of Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) said he is opposed to resettlement because of "the logistical challenges and the security risk." Last year, Cruz said the U.S. should welcome "the tired, huddled masses" after going through screening.