Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who’s running for the Republican presidential nomination, is “very concerned” about Muslims immigrating to the United States, according to a recent interview with Breitbart News.
“I’m very concerned about immigration to this country from countries that have hotbeds of jihadism and hotbeds of this Islamism,” Paul said. “I think there does need to be heightened scrutiny. Nobody has a right to come to America, so this isn’t something that we can say ‘oh, their rights are being violated.’ It’s a privilege to come to America and we need to thoroughly screen those who are coming.”
He added that extra scrutiny is needed to make sure those immigrating from countries with strong terrorist ties aren’t coming for nefarious reasons.
“I think we’re doing the wrong thing by just having this open door policy to bring in people without significant scrutiny,” he explained.
“I’m for increasing scrutiny on people who come on student visas from the 25 countries that have significant jihadism. Also, any kind of permanent visas or green cards, we need to be very careful. I don’t think we’re being careful enough with who we let in.”
After the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security exercised extra scrutiny for people coming from and leaving to certain countries, ranked by the possibility of national security threats. But that program was ended in 2011.
Paul, who is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, plans to reinstate that program, to help weed out possible terrorists who want to immigrate to the United States.