U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin went on “The Howie Carr Show” on Monday to talk about the Syrian refugee situation and criticize President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

The Republican from Maine’s 2nd District has voted against continuing President Barack Obama’s plan of resettling 10,000 refugees from Syria, which is in the midst of a civil war complicated by the rise of the terrorist Islamic State.

Pressure on Obama’s plan has ramped up after the terrorist attacks in Paris claimed by the Islamic State earlier this month. While, none of the attackers have been identified as refugees so far, but one of them had a passport (which may well have been fake) in the name of a man who entered Greece with refugees.

Poliquin and many Republicans argue that until the Obama administration can ensure a stiffer screening process, the Syrian immigration program should be halted. However, others have said the screening process, which can take up to two years, is a high hurdle.

Democrat Emily Cain, who is running for her party’s nomination to challenge Poliquin in 2016, was noncommittal on the administration’s plan in a statement last week. Her primary opponent, Joe Baldacci, hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

On Monday, Carr, a conservative talk radio host, asked Poliquin if he feared “a Paris-style event in Lewiston or Portland, given the large number of refugees in those two cities. (Some necessary context: Just over 900 refugees came to Maine, mostly from Iraq and Somalia, between 2011 and 2014.)

Poliquin mostly demurred on the question, saying Maine is “strong on the 2nd Amendment” and “we own a lot of guns up here, so we’re good to go.”

The federal government controls immigration, but Gov. Paul LePage has joined a majority of U.S. governors who have come out against Syrian refugees settling in Maine.

Poliquin said many “stand up strong” to support Gov. Paul LePage and a majority of U.S. governors opposing resettlement in their states “until we can certify they’re not going to hurt us.”

Governors’ opposition is symbolic because the federal government controls immigration, but Poliquin said “based on what I know, refugees from any place will not be resettled in that place or in any place in America unless they’re welcome.”

“Now, I’m not advocating any action, I’m just saying, these folks have to be welcomed in the communities or they’re likely not to be resettled there,” he said.


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