From the September 13 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends Sunday:
TUCKER CARLSON (CO-HOST): Your email is pouring in on this subject, a lot of Americans are outraged over President Obama's plans to take in thousands, some very high number, at least 10,000 he said, of Syrian refugees.
PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST (VIDEO CLIP): He's informed his team that he would like them to accept -- at least preparations to accept -- 10,000 Syrian refugees. ... The top concern or the top priority when evaluating these kinds of policy options is the safety and security of the United States and our citizens.
CARLSON: So if that's the top concern, why are we doing this in the first place? Could we be opening the door to terrorists? Well, joining us now is the executive director of The Accountability Project, Nomiki Konst. Nomiki, it's great to see you this morning.
NOMIKI KONST: Nice to see you too, Tucker.
CARLSON: So, here you have at least 10,000, mostly men, over 70 percent men from the country with the worst civil war in the world, Syria. Probably a lot of them combatants, certainly a lot of them combatants, coming to the United States. What does the United States get out of this? Why is this a good thing for us? I know why it's good for them, why is it good for us?
KONST: Well, I think we have a long history. Our country was built off of this. This is why all of our families come over --
CARLSON: Letting in refugees from Syria?
KONST: Bringing in refugees all over the world, who come from conflict zones, who are searching for freedom. The reality is is that this is a drop in the bucket. When Germany, which is a quarter of a size of our economy is bringing 800,000 Syrians a year and we're bringing in, at this point in 2013, we only had 36 Syrians come in, now it's up to a couple hundred a month. You know, there's a screening process. It's not like we're just opening the doors up and people get on a ship and they come through Ellis Island. We're not in those days anymore. There's a very serious process.
CARLSON: You're right, we're not in those days. We're actually letting in more immigrants than we did during the days of Ellis Island. We've let in tens of millions of refugees from around the world over the past 50 years. But you're not answering my question, which is, why is it good for us? What does the United States get out of it?
KONST: It improves our country.
CARLSON: In what ways?
KONST: It's our values. You know, do we want to be like Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia was even bringing in some -- they claim to have been bringing in Syrian refugees. Do we want to be like the Gulf states or do we want to be the leaders for freedom and enrichment of culture?
CARLSON: So, again you're not answering my question. You're saying we feel better about ourselves? I mean, because, does it improve our education? No. [CROSSTALK]
KONST: It's humanitarian.
CARLSON: Does it improve job opportunities for Americans? No. Does it make us richer? No. What exactly does it do?
KONST: To be fair, immigrants are half of our entrepreneurs in the country. So it does actually improve our economy. You know, these are people who will become workers who can gradually become part of the economy, or they can come in here on temporary visas, humanitarian visas, and that's really what I think people are looking at right now. This is a crisis which we are very much a part of, you know, the instability in the Middle East, not totally responsible for it, but very much a part of. So we have to look at it like we owe it to the world to create stability. And this is part of that process.
CARLSON: So in places in the country that have accepted a lot of refugees from Muslim parts of the world, and Minneapolis, St. Paul, would be first on the list, Portland, Maine, there are many others -- they have problems with domestic terrorism, big time. There's a direct connection between that population and the risk of terror. How can this administration assure the public they are going to somehow screen these people to make sure they're not in any way connected to Islamic extremism? That's like a lie.
KONST: Well, to accept refugees is a totally different process of bringing - it's much more qualified, difficult, you have to screen family members.
CARLSON: It hasn't worked in the past. Why is it going to work now?
KONST: Well, it has worked in the past for humanitarian refugees. You are making two very separate conclusions here about two separate arguments. You have immigrants who came in, who are third generation in Milwaukee and different areas of the country, and then you have refugees who are coming in seeking better lives, families that have gone through a screening process over the past several months, to see whether or not their family members, whether they have been part of any war or conflict. I mean, this is a serious consideration. The U.N. is very involved in this process, and to be fair, we are bottlenecked. So it's not like we're bringing in hundreds of thousands. It's 10,000 over a year.
CARLSON: All right. If the U.N. is in charge, I don't feel better. I have no control over this, no one cares what I think, it's going to happen. I just hope you're right. I mean it, I do.
KONST: And international law says that we cannot deny refugees.
CARLSON: Who cares? We're not bound by international law.