Carson: Middle Eastern countries should absorb Syrian refugees

Carson: Middle Eastern countries should absorb Syrian refugees
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Middle Eastern countries should absorb the millions of displaced Syrian refugees fleeing civil war in their country, Republican presidential candidate Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon Carson'Housing First' approach won't solve homelessness crisis Clarence Thomas blasts his Biden-led confirmation hearings: 'The idea was to get rid of me' Affordable housing crisis demands urgent, sustained action MORE said Saturday following a visit to a refugee camp in Jordan.

“Syrians have a reputation as very hard working, determined people, which should only enhance the overall economic health of the neighboring Arab countries that accept and integrate them into the general population," Carson said in a brief statement, according to The Associated Press.

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Other countries should provide “financial and material support to the aforementioned countries as well as encouragement,” Carson said.

Carson, who came into the presidential race with no political experience, has been under pressure to prove his foreign policy knowledge.

Several Middle Eastern countries have complained that they are bearing a disproportionate burden for the crisis in Syria.  

Around 4 million displaced Syrians are currently living in overwhelmed United Nations camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. Lebanon, which hosts around 1 million refugees, in May stopped registering new refugees altogether.

President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States has met with harsh criticism from most Republican candidates.

The terrorist attacks in Paris this month further fueled concerns that refugee resettlement in the U.S. could constitute a risk to national security, as candidates warn that extremists could sneak in among those fleeing the bloody conflict in Syria.

Carson last week compared extremists trying to infiltrate the U.S. amongst refugees to “rabid dogs.”

“We must always balance safety against just being a humanitarian,” Carson said at a press conference in Mobile, Ala. “For instance, if there’s a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you’re probably not going to assume something good about that dog, and you’re probably going to put your children out of the way. It doesn’t mean you hate all dogs by any stretch of the imagination, but you’re putting intellect into motion and thinking, ‘How do I protect my children?’ ”

The retired neurosurgeon called for screening mechanisms” to “allow us to determine who the mad dogs are.”

Carson’s tour of the Azraq camp in northern Jordan is part of a two-day trip to the region. The campaign has restricted journalist access to the tour, according to The Associated Press, and has declined to provide his itinerary.