Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson said Jordan and other Middle Eastern countries should take in Syrian refugees, rather than the United States or European Union countries. Carson said on three of the Sunday morning talk shows it would take $3 billion to fund Jordanian efforts.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries have poured into Europe since January, fleeing the carnage in their homelands, the vast majority from Syria. In the wake of the Nov. 13 terror attacks in Paris, fears have grown that terrorists are embedded in this influx, ready to wreak havoc in the West.
"I know they have said if we bring refugees [to the United States], they [the Islamic State group] will infiltrate them. Why wouldn't they?" Carson said on ABC's "This Week."
Carson told CBS's "Face the Nation" the Syrians he encountered this weekend in his visit to the Azraq refugee camp in northern Syria do not want to go to Europe or the United States. Rather they want "to be repatriated to their homeland."
Asked what the United States can do to support Jordanian efforts, Carson said the U.S. should lend support Jordanian efforts.
"The reason the camps are not full is because they are not supported by the international community," Carson said. He said officials should stop talking about accepting immigrants and turn their attention to support the facilities. "It's perfectly fine when it's adequately funded."
The retired neurosurgeon said Jordan could take in a lot more refugees but needs $3 billion. "That's what we spent on Halloween candy" last year, Carson said. He said allowing a few thousand refugees into the United States would not solve the problem, calling it a "Band-Aid."
Carson called on the administration to sit down with military experts -- especially retired generals -- to determine what is needed to destroy the Islamic State group.
"Those of us who are not experts could sit around all day long and say we should do this and we should do that," Carson said. "Do we want to give them what they need, or do we want to continue playing around?"
Carson told NBC's "Meet the Press" he was misunderstood when he likened Syrian refugees to "rabid dogs," saying he was referring only to jihadis. He said the Syrian refugees with whom he spoke understood him.
He said efforts to end the turmoil in Syria should be speeded up and a political solution found, saying it is unlikely embattled President Bashar Assad or the various factions in Syria individually could maintain peace in the country and avoid future turmoil.