GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio Thursday called for a "top-down review" of the nation's legal immigration programs that can be manipulated in order to rebuild the nation's intelligence capabilities.
"We have to focus on homeland security and defeating ISIS where they are located in the Middle East," the Florida senator told Fox News' "Happening Now"
For example, Rubio said that most Americans didn't know about the fiance visa, which allowed Pakistani native Tashfeen Malik to enter the United States to be with her eventual husband, Syed Farook. The couple went on to kill 14 people in the deadly San Bernardino shootings.
"We know ISIS is trying to recruit people like doctors and students to use those visas," Rubio said. "It is disappointing that the funding bill in place does nothing to deal with that or the Syrian refugees. We need to rebuild our intelligence capabilities especially in the face of home-grown terrorism. We have people running for president that voted to diminish this program and take away valuable tools."
Meanwhile, he said the United States should err on the side of caution when it comes to allowing people into the country.
"We need to know more than before about people entering the country particularly if they have markers and could be the kind of people ISIS is recruiting," said Rubio. "This includes looking at social media profiles. And as far as the Middle East is concerned we need to work together to put together the coalition LED primarily by Sunni operators."
And on the Syrian refugee situation, he said, "we we would not be able to admit most of them. We just don't have enough information to vet them again. I would say if there is a seven year old orphan or a well-known priest or something that common sense shows us we know something about you that can make an exception, but this is an issue we have to be 100 percent right on."
The Florida Republican also spoke about the pending spending bill, saying that it
contains more than a trillion dollars of spending, was put together at the last second and contains provisions for spending for refugees entering the country.
"They know it has to be done," Rubio said. "They wait until December to do it... this is why people are so frustrated with Washington. We know this is a problem, we know ISIS is trying to use the refugee program to infiltrate ISIS members into the United States and nothing is changing. People are asking how Washington can be so out of touch? People shake their head asking how can it be."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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