Obama visits refugee centre in Malaysia

Nov 26, 2015 U.S. President Barack Obama recently visited a refugee educational center in Malaysia. The visit came on the backdrop of a Republican backlash against his administration’s plan to accept thousands of immigrants from Syria.

Speaking during the visit, President Obama said:

“One of the reasons that I wanted to come visit here is because globally we’re seeing an unprecedented number of refugees. The world is rightly focused on the humanitarian tragedy taking place in Syria but we can’t forget that there are millions of other refugees from war-torn parts of the world. In fact, 60 million people are displaced all around the world,”

Despite a widespread Republican backlash in the U.S. against the Obama administration’s plan to accept more immigrants from Syria, the State Department said the administration would stand by its plan. However they reiterated that the refugees would be subject to stringent security checks.

While pointing out that the terrorism problem should not be equated with the refugee crisis, President Obama also pointed that children fleeing war had every right to enjoy the same privileges as American children.

“They are just like our kids. They deserve love and protection and stability and an education. They are lucky they are here at this wonderful centre and getting that kind of support, but there are a lot of children just like them who are not. That’s the face of not only refugees from Myanmar. That’s the face of Syrian children and Iraqi children, children from war-torn regions of Sudan. When I sat there and talked to them and they were drawing or doing their math problems, they were indistinguishable from any child in America. The notion that somehow we would be fearful of them, that our politics would somehow leave us to turn our sights away from their plight, is not representative of the best of who we are,”

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