Sarah Palin, former half-term governor of Alaska, dropped by Late Night with Seth Meyers to push her new book and along the way the issue of Syrian refugees came up.
Palin told Meyers and audience that the reason governors across the U.S. are saying "no" to any refugees is because there’s not a vetting process to determine if they are “bad guys infiltrating under the guise of refugee.”
Without blinking or referring to any cue cards, Meyers calmly described the very real vetting process that takes between 18-24 months before refugees are allowed into the country.
“In order for any refugees to come in, it is like an 18- to 24-month process for them to get through,” Meyers said. “It starts at the U.N., and then it comes through multiple government agencies here in the States. Is it maybe just that, at the core, I think there’s just a lack of trust across the board of the federal government? Do you think that’s what these governors are really saying, that ultimately anything the federal government tells them, they don’t trust?”
“Well, I don’t trust what the federal government is telling us,” Palin — who is out promoting her new book, “Sweet Freedom” — replied. “But even you should not trust that the federal government is telling you about the 18- to 24-month vetting process is as legit as perhaps they’re trying to make the public believe, because truly, there is no way to filter out those that would want to do this country harm with the process that we see in place today. And that’s why it’s not just Republican governors but Democrats too who are saying, ‘Wait a minute. Somebody’s got to be the last line of defense here, so the states are taking on that authority.’”
Meyers went on to ask of we can ever truly get to a place where everyone feels absolute safety about vetting all refugees, and Palin quickly did a u-turn agreeing with him.
“If we were to strive to reach absolute safety, we would not have freedom,” Palin said. “If people have the choice here — I mean, we can have both, but we’re all about freedom. That’s a foundation of our country, so we’re not going to give up freedom for that.”
Meyers also addressed the cynicism of assuming all refugees only want to come here to attack us, and that he believed people want to come to the U.S. because they seek the freedoms we all have.
Freedom, Meyers said, is why the refugees “are so desperate to come here.”
“I think this idea that they’re coming here to infiltrate — I think that is fear-based,” he said. “I do think they want to come here and enjoy the same things you and I are lucky enough to enjoy.”
Palin, again, u-turns and agrees with Meyers.