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Mike Huckabee Says Refugees Might Be Fleeing Syria For ‘Cable TV’

The former Arkansas governor says refugees may have a 'nefarious purpose' for coming to the U.S.

With each day bringing more headlines about the desperate situation faced by refugees fleeing Syria and its neighboring countries, it was only a matter of time before the 2016 presidential candidates started to weigh in.

We've heard responses ranging from outraged to compassionate to cautious from the likes of Chris Christie, Donald Trump and Martin O'Malley, already -- But the latest, from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, has some eyebrows raising.

The Washington Post reports that at the conservative Eagle Forum, Huckabee wondered aloud what the "real" intentions of the refugees could be and said the United States ought to be careful who makes it past our borders.

“Are they really escaping tyranny, are they escaping poverty, or are they really just coming because we’ve got cable TV?” Huckabee asked during a Q&A session. “I don’t meant to be trite. I’m just saying, we don’t know.”

However, leaving their homes, jobs and families while risking their lives to get to inhospitable refugee camps in foreign lands would make it seem like HBO's line-up is the farthest thing from the minds of the 4 million refugees who have left Syria since 2011.

Yet, Huckabee said that bringing more refugees into the U.S. -- like the 10,000 President Obama ordered his administration to prepare for -- should still be considered with skepticism.

“That’s not a lack of Christian charity,” Huckabee said. “It’s the essence of charity, to provide for needs, but not to put your own children at risk, if what you’re importing could be people who have a nefarious purpose for wanting to be here.”

Huckabee isn't the only candidate who shares this kind of fear -- Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson have all said that there should be extensive screening for connections to terrorism before a refugee is granted asylum.