Bernie Sanders has a message of welcome and support for Syrian refugees

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Virtually every major Republican presidential candidate has used the attacks in Paris as a cudgel against the Obama administration's plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S.

(In fact, so has every one of the "undercard" candidates. Here's Chris Christie, currently polling at 1%, on his vision for the U.S. response to the refugee crisis: "I don’t think orphans under five should be admitted into the United States at this point." Very nice.)


But not every candidate is turning their backs. On Saturday night, every Democratic presidential contender reiterated their commitment to resettling refugees fleeing the ongoing human rights crisis in Syria, with Hillary Clinton calling for the U.S. to increase the number of people accepted through the program to 65,000.

On Monday night, Bernie Sanders doubled down on welcoming refugees in the face of xenophobic rhetoric and policy prescriptions.


“In my view, now is the time for developing a serious and effective approach to destroy ISIS. Now is not the time for taking cheap political advantage of this tragedy," Sanders said at a campaign rally in Cleveland. "Now is the time–as President Obama is trying to do–to unite the world in an organized campaign against ISIS that will eliminate the stain of ISIS from this world."

"What terrorism is about is trying to instill terror and fear into the hearts of people. And we will not let that happen. We will not be terrorized or live in fear. During these difficult times, we will not succumb to Islamophobia," Sanders continued. "We will not turn our backs on the refugees who are fleeing Syria and Afghanistan. We will do what we do best and that is be Americans–fighting racism, fighting xenophobia, fighting fear.”