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John Sununu: 'Compassionate' America Has Always Vetted Immigrants and Refugees

(Newsmax TV)

Monday, 30 Jan 2017 03:32 PM

President Donald Trump's ban of residents from seven countries believed to have terror links is not unique — the careful vetting of immigrants and refugees has been a staple in America's history, John Sununu, former chief of staff to George H.W. Bush, tells Newsmax TV.

"We have always had legislation in modern times that imposed at the very least quotas on immigration from given countries. Quotas which for most countries was measured in terms of a handful," Sununu said Monday to Steve Malzberg on "America Talks Live."

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Sununu, who also served as governor of New Hampshire, pointed to the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924, which limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2 percent of the number of people from that country already living in the U.S.

"The fact is we have a history for regulating in flow of both immigrants and refugees," he said, adding that the U.S. remains "a compassionate country" in opening doors to refugees.

"Such as post-World War II, such as post-Vietnam, such as post-Iraq as was done during the Bush administration — but it has to be done with controls. You have to have a process in place . . . to be sure that you're not bringing people in who care to do harm to the United States.

"The problem is President Trump inherited a system that had been completely put into disarray by the Obama administration that had no interest in serious vetting."

Obama on Monday rejected comparison between Trump's immigration policy and his own and encouraged protests of Trump's executive order.

On Sunday, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer made an emotional speech in opposition of Trump's immigration order and appeared to weep — an act Trump said represented "fake tears."

Sununu is also skeptical.

"Let's talk about the 'this' that made him cry. There were seven countries listed in that executive order. Four of them, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen," Sununu told Malzberg.

"There's no question in anyone's mind, even Chuck Schumer's mind, that those four countries are hot beds for terrorist nurturing, training and activity and that we ought not to be taking people from there because there is no way to check the background of people coming from those four countries.

"Iraq was put on this same kind of a list by President Obama in 2011 equivalent and was included in these same seven countries in the Obama legislation of 2015."

He added that while the U.S. has compassion for the refugees coming out of Syria, "how do you check the background of someone coming out of a war-torn country like that?"

"Iran, which is the largest funder of terrorist training in the world. So the whole order was absolutely appropriate," Sununu said.

"The substance of the order is not very much different than the rules, laws and regulations that the Arab and Muslim countries of the region have against the very same countries we're talking about.

"They have not taken any refugees, they have not taken in any immigrants because they're worried about the same kind of thing the president included in the order as the concerns of the United States."

Sununu said he was not impressed at the anti-Trump sentiment being spouted by various Hollywood ceremonies over the weekend, including the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards.

"You get all those kinds of talking heads . . . as if anyone gives a darn about what those people really think about foreign policy," he said.

Sununu is the author of "The Quiet Man: The Indispensable Presidency of George H.W. Bush," published by Broadside Books.

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President Donald Trump's ban of residents from seven countries believed to have terror links is not unique - the careful vetting of immigrants and refugees has been a staple in America's history, John Sununu, former chief of staff to George H.W. Bush, tells Newsmax TV.
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Monday, 30 Jan 2017 03:32 PM
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