Last Week Tonight fans may have noticed the show has been on hiatus, but host John Oliver still took the time to analyze an important issue in a new web exclusive: the debate over Syrian refugees entering the U.S.
“Here in the U.S., the Paris attack has set off a ferocious debate about Syrian refugees,” Oliver started off. “You might remember President Obama pledged to accept at least 10,000 over the next year. But after news broke that one of the attackers may have posed as a refugee and entered Europe through Greece with a fake Syrian passport, many U.S. officials had second thoughts.”
Oliver cut to a report from MSNBC in which an anchor sums up the situation: “31 governors now oppose, are refusing, are suspending the resettlement of Syrian refugees into their states.”
“OK, that’s pretty extreme, but it’s also pretty meaningless for two reasons,” Oliver said. “One, governors don’t have the legal authority to ban legal refugees. And two, even if they could, Syrians can just walk between states like anyone else. The lines on maps are not crocodile-filled moats.”
Naturally, governors weren’t the only politicians with opinions on the topic. “Presidential candidates also got involved with this anti-refugee rhetoric. Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio called for a halt to all Syrian refugees entering the country,” explained Oliver. “And others, like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush, argued we could take some if they were Christian.”
As for how Bush believes a person can show they’re Christian, “Well, if you’re a Christian, you can prove you’re a Christian,” he once told reporters. “I think you can prove it.”
Dissatisfied with that answer, Oliver joked that Christians have “ears that protrude out from their head, whereas non-Christians lack external ears together.”
He continued, “You know what, hold on, I’m thinking about seals and sea lions.”
Watch Oliver explore the Syrian refugee debate in the video below.