Ben Carson: Syrian refugees could bring terrorists

Ben Carson: Three positions in three days
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    Ben Carson: Three positions in three days

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Story highlights

  • The U.S. will welcome at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016
  • Carson said the U.S. should focus on the American poor

Washington (CNN)Ben Carson said the U.S. should be cautious when taking in Syrian refugees to avoid the risk of terrorists entering the country.

"The jihadists want to infiltrate our nation. We have to exercise something that even resembles common sense," he said Wednesday morning on Fox News. "That would be foolishness to take in people from a region where we don't have any way in making a determination if this person is radicalized already or potentially radicalized."
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced earlier this month that the United States would be preparing to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016.
    Conflicts in Syria are regional issues that Middle Eastern countries should focus on solving, Carson said.
    "I do feel for those individuals and I think we should be helping," he said. "But the way we should help is with our expertise, perhaps with some financial help to settle them in the nations where they're coming from."
    Carson did not specify how many refugees he thought the U.S. should admit.
    Carson, who grew up in poor in inner-city Detroit before becoming a successful neurosurgeon, said the U.S. should focus on helping Americans citizens first.
    "We need to be dealing with that before we start bringing in a bunch of other people," he said. "Why don't we ever think about putting Americans first?"