POLITICS

Marco Rubio Explains How House Bill Would Block Refugees

He says he supports the measure, which adds extra steps to an already lengthy vetting process.

WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) on Sunday endorsed a bill that would restrict resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S.

Though the bill itself merely adds an additional layer of vetting to an already lengthy process for admitting refugees, Rubio explained on "Fox News Sunday" how the extra steps would effectively block people from resettling in the country.

"We can't allow anyone into this country that we cannot vet," Rubio said. "There is no reliable database we can rely on, there is no existing government institution in their home country we can call up and run them against. We cannot vet most of these people. The House bill, I think, is an appropriate response."

Fox host Chris Wallace pointed out that the legislation the House passed last week wouldn't create the institutions in Syria or Iraq that could help vet refugees. 

"The House bill will require both the director of the FBI and of Homeland Security to personally certify each person being admitted has been fully vetted and they're confident they're not going to be terrorists," Rubio said. "They won't be able to do that in most cases."

Senate Democrats have vowed to block passage of the refugee bill in the upper chamber, and President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure. Rubio has previously said Senate Republicans could peel off enough Democrats to approve the bill. 

The House rushed to pass the bill after terrorists affiliated with the so-called Islamic State group killed 130 people in Paris. The Obama administration had previously pledged to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees, a small fraction of the number fleeing violence in war-ravaged Iraq and Syria. 

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