Tuesday, November 20, 2018 | Updated at 11:22 AM ET


Hillary Clinton on Syrian Refugees: Welcoming Refugees Will Benefit in Fight Against ISIS

First Posted: Nov 24, 2015 02:42 PM EST
Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton Hosts Latinos For Hillary Event In San Antonio

Photo : Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Welcoming Syrian refugees into the United States does not present a threat, but rather gives law enforcement the opportunity to build ties within Muslim communities, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

With her remarks, the former secretary of state defied dozens of Republican governors and White House hopefuls who had called for a curb on the influx of those feeling turmoil in the Middle East, The Associated Press noted.

"If you're in law enforcement, ... you want the people in the communities that you are looking to get information from to feel like they want to help you," said Clinton. "And if the message from people who are running for president, for example, is that we don't want to take any Muslims whatsoever, that's not good for law enforcement."

Her remarks came at a campaign rally in Nevada, one of the Democrats' key early primary states and home to a large immigrant population. The former New York senator urged the federal government to carefully vet potential migrants, but warned that someone's religion should not affect whether an individual is granted refugee status.

"Let's not be casting this broad, negative rejection of everybody who might be Muslim. That is not smart to protect ourselves," Clinton said. "And I want people to understand - that is a law enforcement issue."

Clinton's words of caution coincided with the front-runner's emphatic call to go after the terror organization ISIS, which claimed responsibility for the deadly Nov. 13 terrorist attacks that killed 129 and wounded dozens in Paris, Time magazine noted.

"Since Paris, no homeland security challenge is being more hotly debated than how to handle Syrian refugees seeking safety in the United States. ... We do need to be vigilant in screening and vetting any refugees from Syria," she said.

"Many of these refugees are fleeing the same terrorists who threaten us. It would be a cruel irony indeed if ISIS can force families from their homes and then also prevent them from ever finding new ones," Clinton concluded.

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