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Marco Rubio Opposes Syrian Refugees in US: Rubio 'Doesn't Know' US Refugee Process, Says Former Bush Counter-Terrorism Advisor

First Posted: Nov 18, 2015 05:00 AM EST

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has joined the call to not accept Syrian refugees.

During an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Rubio said there is no mechanism to provide a background check on Syrian refugees.

"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 I said we won't be able to take more refugees. It's not that we don't want to, but we can't," said Rubio.

Former counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, who served as an advisor for former-President George W. Bush during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, criticized Rubio's dismissal to allow Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Appearing on ABC's "The View," Clarke, who currently serves as an ABC News consultant, said there is a process for refugees entering the U.S., and if there is any doubt in regards to an individual, then he or she will not be allowed in the country.

"Marco Rubio's here because the United States allows in refugees," said Clarke. "Marco Rubio is a citizen of the United States because his family were refugees that we allowed in, now he wants to shut the door on refugees?"

"There is a process. If there's any doubt at all, they're not allowed in. It takes 18 months, 24 months, while these people sit in wretched refugee camps in Turkey, in Jordan, in Lebanon and if there's any doubt, they're not allowed in," he continued. "Marco Rubio doesn't know what the process is. There is a process, and it's worked."

Rubio's opposition to accept Syrian refugees is a slight change in stance after previously stating he's open to allow "some" in the country.

"We would be potentially open to the relocation of some of these individuals at some point in time to the United States," said Rubio in early September during a town hall event in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Rubio, did, however acknowledge concern that terrorists could disguise themselves among the refugees.

"We'd always be concerned that within the overwhelming number of the people seeking refugee, someone with a terrorist background could also sneak in," Rubio said.

Rubio's stance to not allow Syrian refugees in the U.S. comes a couple days following the Paris terror attacks on Nov. 13, which resulted in 129 deaths. Following the attacks, 27 U.S. governors have announced their refusal to allow Syrian refugees to resettle in their states, including Rubio's state of Florida.

Rubio, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, is not the only GOP candidate to join the opposition to accept refugees. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich also announced their decision not to accept refugees.

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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