Carson: Syrians must be screened before entering US
© Getty Images

Republican presidential hopeful Ben CarsonBen CarsonBiden has an opportunity to win over conservative Christians Ben Carson dismisses 25th Amendment talk: 'As a nation we need to heal' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 MORE wants to conduct background checks on all Syrian migrants and war refugees before letting them into the United States, he said in an interview with NPR on Saturday.

Two days after President Obama pledged to take in 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal year, Carson warned that terrorists could be hiding among those trying to escape the protracted civil war.


“We have to recognize that this is a splendid opportunity for the global jihadists to infiltrate those numbers with members of their own organization,” Carson said. “So we would have to have in place a very excellent screening mechanism. Until we had such a mechanism in place, we should not be bringing anybody in.”

The European Union has been struggling to relocate the hundreds of thousands of people streaming out of Syria, with some countries refusing to let the refugee seekers settle within their borders.

Germany — the most desired destination for the refugees — has estimated it will accept roughly 800,000 refugees this year, roughly four times as many as it did last year.

The U.S. commitment to taking in 10,000 people is a significant increase over the nearly 2,000 it brought in throughout the current fiscal year.

While humanitarian groups say the White House needs to accept a higher number, conservatives have warned the move raises national security concerns.

“I would admit people that we need, people that can boost our economy based on their skills and what they bring in, and I don't know what that number is,” Carson said.

Carson has been gaining in the polls on the strength of his performance at the first Republican presidential debate. He has been consistently ranked second to poll leader Donald Trump in recent days.