That Time Bill Clinton Was Worried That If We Accepted Refugees, They Wouldn’t Go Home

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Oct 17, 2016 7:30 PM
That Time Bill Clinton Was Worried That If We Accepted Refugees, They Wouldn’t Go Home

Back in the day, when Bill Clinton was in the White House, he had a rather candid discussion with then-UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on what appears to be what to do about refugees from the Balkans. At the time, the Kosovo War had broken out, leading to scores of Albanian refugees fleeing from the country; an Albanian army calling itself the Kosovo Liberation Army was trying to break away from Yugoslavia, which was eventually successful. Clinton was treading carefully between the responding to this crisis, while also avoiding the optics that he was diverting attention away from the then-recently disclosed sex scandal with intern Monica Lewinsky by engaging in an aggressive war action.

In the discussion with Blair, his portion being redacted, Clinton said that he wants to take in refugees, but offered concerns that they might not want to leave upon the insertion of an international peacekeeping force led by NATO (KFOR).

“I understand the problem,” Clinton said to Blair. “On the other hand, we have to take enough pressure off Macedonia and Albania so hey don’t close the border to keep their countries from coming apart. Talk to your folks. On one level, I’d like take 100,000 and put them in America tomorrow and run the risk of saying people don’t want to go home. On another level, I don’t want any. They might like it here and not want to leave.”

Wikileaks disclosed that Clinton’s Chief of Staff Tina Flournoy forwarded the now-declassified discussion to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta on December 7, 2015 as a heads up, especially when Bill says that he’s afraid refugees would stay here. On that same day, Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States. Five days prior, married couple Tashfeen Malik and Rizwan Farook shot and killed 14 people at an office Christmas party in San Bernardino, California. Of course, the Left jumped on Trump’s remarks; they were slamming him for his wall proposal. As it so happens, even Bill didn’t want to have to deal with the headaches of accepting refugees.