Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., offered a logical alternative Tuesday to the protests greeting President Donald Trump’s executive order barring residents of seven countries with high incidents of terrorism from entering the U.S.
“People ought to step back and see if we can agree that there’s a problem in order to decide whether we like the solution,” Paul said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Paul said Europe has provided a lesson in what can happen when the system fails.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 31, 2017
“In Europe, a million people went into Germany, some of them presented with one name and no papers,” Paul said “So if you call back to Syria and say, my name is so-and-so and you ask for the agency to check this person with one name, there is no agency. It’s chaos over there so vetting these people is very, very difficult. And I think we need to do more vetting of people coming with one name from various countries in the Middle East.”
Although Paul was among those battling Trump for the Republican presidential nomination and has been quick to criticize him when the views of the two diverge, he said Trump is addressing a problem, which is exactly what Trump said he would do.
“I was told about 400 times over a year and a half that he was going to do this, so I guess I’m not surprised in the roll out. I was not specifically consulted and obviously there are some things that didn’t go perfectly,” Paul said.
However, Americans need to look past the glitches of the past weekend, he said.
“And the problem is pretty clear that about 40 percent of people who come visit our country on a visa overstay their visa, and we have no idea where they are,” he said.
Paul said stopping the flow of travelers while the system is assessed and overhauled makes sense.
“I think you have to pause the system from areas of high risk for terrorism, until you can improve the system,” he said.
“Overall, do I believe exchange with other cultures is good, people going back and forth is good, trade is good? Yes,” he said. “All of these things are good, but I think you have to make sure the system is working.”
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