Addressing the Syrian refugee crisis, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said the United States should pause the program as he urged the public to remember the difference between charity and taxation.
“There’s a difference between charity and taxation and, sure, I have a great deal of sympathy and I have helped through our church with helping refugees – that’s charity and something you give voluntarily. But to say, ‘Oh, we are going to bring them here and put them on welfare,’ well, that’s not charity, that’s not humanitarian, that’s you saying, ‘Oh, it’s great to give somebody else’s money.’ Give of your own money. If you want to help people, give of your own money,” he said in response to a question from PJM before a Students for Rand rally at George Washington University.
Paul argued there are problems with the screening process of refugees that needs to be corrected and there are other issues to tackle on U.S. soil such as veteran homelessness.
“We don’t have infinite resources, so I think it’s always more charitable to begin with people who live here,” he said.
“There are people struggling all over the world – should we admit them all to our country?”
Paul also criticized one of his competitors for the GOP nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for wanting to increase government surveillance.
“If Marco Rubio spent more time in the Senate doing his job he might understand that program is still in existence – the bulk collection of phone data still goes on, so when people like him say, ‘Oh, just give up your liberty and we’ll be more secure – we have to give up more liberty,’” he said. “We already do the bulk collection of data.”
Some students at the rally explained to PJM why they are sticking with Paul as GOP presidential candidates Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) continue to rise in national polls.
“Young people are fed up with the hypocrisy they see in Washington, D.C., and in our policies. I think Rand Paul has firm integrity and he will fight for our rights,” said one student.
Another student said Paul is not running for president to be popular.
“His message is resonating with young people because the election has become a travesty – almost like some kind of talk show or reality TV show,” he said.
“The thing with Senator Rand Paul is he’s a great man – he’s done a lot of great things for this country. He’s definitely not just done them to make popularity for himself.”
One student said she had no idea why Trump and Carson have been rising in the polls.
“Neither of them is well-versed. Neither of them knows what they are saying. With Rand, he backs up what he is saying,” she said. “He has evidence to back up his claims. He doesn’t just speak to talk. He doesn’t always say what’s the most popular answer to poll well, but he says what he stands for.”