Politics

Donald Trump Just Told Millions of People a Big Lie About Syrian Refugees

January 14th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a misleading response to a question about the identity of Syrian refugees at the GOP debate on Thursday. He stated that the majority of those resettled in the U.S. are "strong, young men," whose intentions are dubious.

Fox Business moderator Neil Cavuto also asked Trump whether Refaai Hamo — a 55-year-old Syrian refugee and doctor, who resettled in Detroit after his daughter and wife were killed in a bombing attack — served as an accurate reflection of the type of Syrians who are seeking shelter in the U.S., as President Barack Obama said. Cavuto asked Trump whether the explosive rhetoric he uses to describe the refugee crisis was justified.

Trump said that he believed the issue wasn't about "fear and terror" — rather "it's reality."

"Where are the women?" Trump said. "There look[s] like there are very few women" and children. Instead, Trump suggested that most Syrian refugees were "powerful" men. This is a claim that both the United Nations refugee agency and U.S. State Department dispute.

The facts.

"Half of the Syrian refugees brought to the U.S. so far have been children; and 2.5 percent are adults over 60," a State Department official said during a press briefing on the refugee screening process in November. "And I think you will have heard that only two percent are single males of combat age. So we — there’s slightly more — it’s roughly 50/50 men and women, slightly more men I would say, but not a lot more men."

So while Syrian men make up a little over 50 percent of the refugee population in the U.S., only two percent fit the demographic that Trump described at the debate.

In terms of the overall Syrian refugee population, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reported that just over 50 percent were women and that “females age 18 to 59 make up 23.9 percent of the refugees, while males in that age group make up 21.8 percent.”

RELATED: Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson Explains the Screening Process For Refugees

The Refugee Screening Process

Next time you hear someone say Syrian refugees are dangerous, show them this.Learn more about the screening process here: http://bit.ly/1I8Hte3

Posted by ATTN: on Tuesday, November 24, 2015

RELATED: What Does the Refugee Crisis Mean for the U.S.?

His controversial stance on Syrian refugees, including the idea that the refugee population was "a great Trojan horse, people who will do great, great destruction," has become a major talking point for the candidate since a married couple killed 14 people in San Bernardino last month.