Jeb Bush: US Should Focus On Helping The Christian Syrian Refugees, Rather Than The Muslims

1 min

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at a Economic Club of Detroit meeting in Detroit Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015. The Detroit event is the first in a series of stops that Bush's team is calling his "Right to Rise" tour. That's also the name of the political action committee he formed in December 2014 to allow him to explore a presidential run. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said Sunday that American aid toward refugees should be geared toward Christians who are fleeing persecution in Syria, as opposed to those who are Muslim.

“I think we need to do thorough screening and take in a limited number,” Bush said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “There are a lot of Christians in Syria that have no place now. They’ll be either executed or imprisoned, either by Assad or by ISIS. We should focus our efforts as it relates to the refugees for the Christians that are being slaughtered.”

The White House’s plan to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees has come under attack from Republican presidential candidates in the wake of Friday’s terror attack in Paris, which claimed at least 129 lives and wounded at least 350. Officials say one of the attackers held a Syrian passport and appears to have come through Greece among the throngs of refugees, increasing fears that ISIS is using the crisis as a way to infiltrate Europe.

Bush said that the U.S. should use a careful screening process to ensure refugees are in fact Christian, saying “we need to be obviously very, very cautious.”

Bush isn’t the only GOP candidate to say U.S. compassion as it relates to the refugee crisis should focus on Christians. “President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s idea that we should bring tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to America — it is nothing less than lunacy,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in an interview with Fox News on Saturday.

“Now on the other hand,” Cruz added, “Christians who are being targeted, for genocide, for persecution, Christians who are being beheaded or crucified, we should be providing safe haven to them.”

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