After President Obama met with President Pérez Molina of Guatemala, President Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras, and President Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador, he clarifies U.S. policy on admitting refugees into the United States. He seemed to understand our laws. It is evident that whoever is running our U.S. government in 2022 does not have a clue.
Reporter 1: Mr. President, what about the refugee proposal?
Reporter 1: Is the refugee program possible?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Actually, I wasn’t going to take questions, but let me just respond to this particular question because I felt like some of the stories were a little over cranked. And as I explained to my fellow Presidents, under U.S. law, we admit a certain number of refugees from all around the world based on some fairly narrow criteria. And typically, refugee status is not granted just based on economic need or because a family lives in a bad neighborhood or poverty. It’s typically defined fairly narrowly — the state, for example, that was targeting political activists and they need to get out of the country for fear of prosecution or even death.
There may be some narrow circumstances in which there is a humanitarian or a refugee status that a family might be eligible for. If that were the case, it would be better for them to be able to apply in-country rather than take a very dangerous journey all the way up to Texas to make those same claims. But I think it’s important to recognize that that would not necessarily accommodate a large number of additional migrants.
What’s more important is going to be for us to be able to find the kinds of solutions, both short-term and long-term, that prevents smugglers from making money on families that feel desperate; that ensure that we’re creating greater security for families in Central America, and that we are helping to grow opportunity long-term in Central America and in the kind of legal immigration system that makes this underground migration system less necessary. And that’s what I’m going to be committed to doing.