US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has said that if elected he would deport Syrian refugees because they may be “Islamic State.” The United States has taken in some 1,500 Syrian refugees in four years.
Billionaire real-estate mogul Donald Trump made the comments at a speech in the key primary state of New Hampshire, where he told the crowd he was concerned thousands of “Islamic State” members could come to the United States disguised as refugees.
“I am putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration,” Trump, who has made numerous controversial comments on immigration , told a crowd of supporters. “If I win, they are going back.”
“This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000-man army, maybe,” he added.
Nearly 9 million Syrians have been internally displaced and another 4 million are refugees fleeing violence that has killed at least 250,000 people and destroyed the country in more than four-years of conflict.
The United States has taken in only some 1,500 Syrian refugees in four years.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced the US would increase the number of worldwide refugees the country accepts in fiscal year 2016 to 85,000, and to 100,000 by 2017. The current cap is set at 70,000.
As many as 18,000 Syrian refugees could be accepted into the US next year from a UN list.
Trumps comments come as some US intelligence officials and Republican lawmakers have voiced similar concerns radical militants could infiltrate with refugees to carry out attacks on the United States.
Europe meanwhile faces the largest refugee crisis since World War II, with more than 500,000 migrants from the Middle East and Africa crossing into the EU so far this year. As the flood of refugees to Europe continues, Germany expects to receive over 800,000 asylum applications this year.