Richard Burr: Banning Muslim immigration a ‘huge mistake’ in terror fight

WASHINGTON – North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” program Sunday that a ban on Muslim immigration into the United States would be a “huge mistake” in the global fight against terrorism. Burr, the Republican and Senate intelligence committee chairman, said that some of America’s best allies in the fight have been from majority Muslim countries who have been “at our side every step of the way.”

“How do you tell the Bahraini pilots that fly, the Saudi pilots that fly, and the Emirati pilots: ‘You’re good enough to fight against ISIL, but you’re not good enough to come in the United States?’ Huge mistake,” Burr said when asked about presidential candidate Donald Trump’s plan to temporarily halt Muslim immigration. “This sends the wrong message to people that have to be part of our partnership for a solution.”

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Burr also partly agreed with host John Dickerson’s characterization of Secretary of State John Kerry’s fear that a ban such as Trump advocated would incite Muslims and help extremist recruiting.

“I’m not concerned about international [implications],” Burr said. “I’m concerned about radicalization here, from people who are already in the United States, and that does tend to fuel it.”

See the interaction here or read the full transcript of Burr’s remarks here.