Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told a New Hampshire audience he would force Syrian refugees in the United States to return home if he was elected president. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
KEENE , N.H., Oct. 1 (UPI) -- Refugees leaving the war in Syria to immigrate to the United States would be sent back if Donald Trump is elected president, the Republican candidate said in New Hampshire.
After explaining a proposal for tax reform to an audience at Keene, N.H., High School on Wednesday, the front-runner for the Republican nomination said of the refugees could be members of the Islamic State, also identified as IS, ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.
"I'm putting people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration, that if I win, they're going back! They could be ISIS ...This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000-man army maybe, or if you said 50,000 or 80,000 or 100,000, we got problems and that could be possible. I don't know that it is, but it could be possible so they're going back -- they're going back," Trump said.
The United States has committed to accepting 10,000 refugees within the next year.
A hardline approach to immigration is a central tenet of Trump's campaign.
Trump's comments Wednesday signal a reversal of opinion. Two weeks ago, while in Rochester, N.H., he supported U.S. aid to Syrian refugees, saying, "We can do something but we have to get other people to help us."
Asked if some refugees in Europe should be permitted to enter the United States, he commented, "I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, with what's happening, you have to."