The mass murder in Paris has left at least 129 people dead and hundreds suffering from injuries. The human toll prompted people across the globe to express sympathy and solidarity with the people of France.
For Marco Rubio, it was also a fundraising opportunity.
On Sunday night, Rubio sent out this tweet from his official account:
We won’t be able to take more refugees.It’s not that we aren’t compassionate.But we can’t.No way to background check https://t.co/j8PlLWWqpG
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 15, 2015
The link leads you to a page on Rubio’s official website featuring a video called: “Marco Responds to the Paris Attacks on This Week.”
The text of the page highlights Rubio’s argument that, in light of the attacks, the United States should not accept Syrian refugees. “The problem is we can’t background check them,” Rubio says.
Readers are directed to enter their information if they “Agree with Marco.” As soon as you enter the information, you get a fundraising pitch soliciting contributions of up to $5400.
Connecting political fundraising with terrorist attacks has caused controversy in the past. In 2002, the Republican Party used “a dramatic photograph taken of Bush on [9/11] to solicit contributions.” The move was derided as “grotesque” and “disgraceful” by political opponents.
Bush was also criticized by the family of 9/11 victims for using 9/11 imagery in political ads.
The core claim in Rubio’s fundraising pitch, that background checks for Syrian refugees are impossible, directly contradicts some of his previous statements. In September interview with the Boston Herald, Rubio said he would be “open” to the United States accepting Syrian refugees “if it can done in a way that allows us to ensure that among them are not infiltrated.”
Security checks of Syrian refugees are possible. The procedure to gain admittance to the United States includes bio-metric screening, an interview with the Department of Homeland Security, a medical screening, and a cultural orientation program.