Senate races

Kirk ad hits Duckworth for allowing Syrian refugees into US

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Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is bashing his likely Democratic opponent over her willingness to accept Syrian refugees in light of the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month in a new ad.  

“ISIS disguised as Syrian refugees attack Paris. Next target? The U.S.,” the narrator says in the ad obtained by The Hill. 
{mosads}”Amazingly, Tammy Duckworth still wants to bring 200,000 Syrian refugees to America, even though the FBI says they cannot be safely screened.”
The ad says that Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s call is 20 times more than President Obama’s policy of allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into America and touts Kirk’s push to pause the refugee resettlement program until the vetting process is shored up.
It ends with a warning: “For your family’s safety, who do you trust?”  
A Kirk aide told The Hill the ad will run statewide for three weeks and has more than $180,000 behind it. It’s an attack that builds off of Kirk’s op-ed last week in the Chicago Tribune where he cautioned that administration officials have expressed doubt that the federal government can adequately ensure vetted refugees pose no threat to the homeland. 
“The facts remain that ISIS used the Syrian refugee crisis to smuggle its terrorists into France and carry out their tragic and deadly acts,” Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement. 
“Rep Duckworth’s plan demonstrates a complete lack of judgment and creates unnecessary security risks for American families.”
The Duckworth campaign pushed back against the ad’s characterization in a fact sheet sent to reporters.
It notes that she signed onto Rep. David Cicilline’s (D-R.I.) letter that called to increase total refugees to 200,000 at a minimum, including 100,000 from Syria, not 200,000 from that country alone. That would amount to a 10-fold increase of Syrians from the president’s plan, and twice as many total refugees as he is planning to accept.
The letter also called for increasing security checks in light of the additional refugees. 
Duckworth’s campaign panned the ad in a statement as “false” and appealing “exclusively to fear and the lowest common denominator.”
“Like Donald Trump, [Kirk is] appealing to base xenophobia, sowing fear of refugees in the midst of one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time,” Duckworth spokesman Matt McGrath said. 
Duckworth argued in her own Tribune op-ed that turning away refugees would be playing into the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.’
“They are sending a signal that innocent victims fleeing the brutality of the Syrian civil war are not welcome in the United States, which plays right into our enemy’s hands,” she wrote about the governors who have opposed Syrian refugee resettlement.
“It empowers and emboldens radicals who want nothing more than for us to conflate their twisted barbarism with the entire Muslim world, and to appear indifferent to human suffering as we turn inward. Ultimately, this poses a threat to our national security.”
The lawmaker is seen as Kirk’s toughest challenge in what’s expected to be one of the nation’s most contentious Senate seats. Both Kirk and Duckworth are veterans. 
Duckworth is running in the primary against former Chicago Urban League president Andrea Zopp and Illinois State Sen. Napoleon Harris, but the congresswoman holds a large lead in early polling.  
Tags Donald Trump Mark Kirk

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