Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on Tuesday voiced willingness to accept Syrian refugees, siding with President Barack Obama and providing a new point of contention with Republicans in the 2016 U.S. election campaign.
Friday’s Paris attacks, which killed 129 people, have given candidates on both sides an opening to debate what steps to take against Islamic State militants whose reach into Europe from Syria and Iraq is a direct challenge to Western leaders.
But the crisis of Syrian refugees is testing American politicians, given the choice between yielding to fears of importing terrorists or honoring the traditional U.S. welcoming role. Candidates have debated all year what to do about 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Clinton, a former secretary of state, made clear Obama’s plan to bring in as many as 10,000 Syrian refugees should be honored as long as they are meticulously screened.