Trump: Persecuted Christian refugees will get priority
Written by Malek   

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By The Hill ^ | Max Greenwood

The United States could prioritize the resettlement of Christian refugees over members of other religious groups, President Trump said on Friday. “They’ve been horribly treated,” Trump said in an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network anchor David Brody. “Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, at least very tough, to get into the United States?”

“If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.” When asked by Brody if he saw helping persecuted Christians abroad as a “priority,” Trump promptly replied, “yes.”

On Friday Trump signed an executive order that bans Syrian refugees indefinitely and suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, after which time the secretaries of State and Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence will be able to decide which countries to accept refugees from. The order also says that the administration should "prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual's country of nationality." As a presidential candidate, Trump called for a ban on all Muslims entering the U.S., arguing that terrorists were entering the country by posing as refugees. He also called for the creation of a Muslim registry.

His latest comments to prioritize Christian refugees puts Trump in the same camp as former primary rivals Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.).

Of the nearly 85,000 refugees admitted to the U.S. in fiscal 2016, 38,901 were Muslims, while 37,521 were Christians, according to a Pew Research Center report.

According to that same report, about 99 percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. were Muslim, while less than 1 percent were Christian.