Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump changed his tone on the European migrant crisis Wednesday, saying he would send any refugees from Syria who arrive before he’s president “back.”
“I’m putting people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they’re going back,” Trump said at a campaign event in New Hampshire.
“This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time,” he added, describing future refugees to the U.S. as a “200,000 man army” that could be with the Islamic State. “I don’t know that it is, but it could be possible, so they’re going back,” he added. “They’re going back.”
More than a million migrants from the Middle East and North Africa are expected to pour into Europe this year alone. Germany is shouldering most of the burden, and is urging other countries to help, some of which are resistant to taking in any migrants. Some have instituted emergency border controls.
Earlier this month, Trump indicated the U.S. should take in some of the refugees. “On a humanitarian basis, something does have to be done,” he told Fox News. “It’s a serious problem. We haven’t seen anything like it since the second world war, and it’s getting worse and worse.”
“It’s living in hell in Syria,” he added then. “They are living in hell.”
The Obama administration has lifted the cap on admission to the United States from 70,000 refugees to 100,000 refugees per year, and the United States will take in an extra 45,000 in the next two years. At least 10,000 will be from Syria.
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