Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) went on CNN on Sunday to say that it was part of American’s “national character” to accept refugees seeking asylum.
“Your home state of Utah is welcoming Afghan refugees, as I would expect, from Utah. But many conservative voices, including Republican lawmakers, have been speaking out against letting Afghans come into the country,” said host Jake Tapper. “Congressman Matt Rosendale said this crisis, quote, ‘Is not an excuse to flood our country with refugees from Afghanistan and on and on.’ How do you think the majority of the Republicans in the House and Senate would vote when asked if the U.S. should accept Afghan refugees?”
“I don’t really know, of course. I believe in their heart of hearts that they recognize that we have a moral responsibility, and in keeping with our national character, we welcome people into our country who seek asylum, and those particularly who have fought alongside our troops and have enabled our troops to have a higher degree of safety than they would have had otherwise,” Romney replied.
“Those are people to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, and we would welcome them into our country. I think it’s one of the characteristics of our great nation,” he added. “We are a nation that welcomes with open arms our friends around the world. We’re talking 10,000, 20,000, 30,000, maybe 50,000 Afghans. How many are coming across the border illegally? That number is exceeded almost every month. So let’s put this in perspective. I, for one, am very pleased we’ll have individuals that come to our country that can contribute to America and believe in the principles upon which it was founded.”
Romney also said that if American citizens and Afghan allies are abandoned in Afghanistan, it would be “a moral stain” on the U.S.
“Leaving Americans behind and leaving our Afghan friends behind who’ve worked with us would put upon us and will put upon us a moral stain,” Romney said. “This did not have to happen. It was preventable. We didn’t have to be in this rush-rush circumstance with terrorists breathing down our neck. But it’s really the responsibility of the prior administration and this administration that has caused this crisis to be upon us.”
Check out Romney’s full CNN interview below.