KEEENE, N.H. — Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would send back Syrian refugees taken in by the U.S. if he's elected president.
"I'm putting the people on notice that are coming from here from Syria as part of this migration," Trump said during a rally in Keene, New Hampshire. "If I win, they're going back."
The billionaire businessman, who is leading early opinion polls, said during an hour-long speech that he was worried the refugees, who have been fleeing their country after years of civil war, could be disguised Islamic State militants.
"They could be ISIS," said Trump, who questioned why Syrians were fleeing their country instead of staying and fighting.
"This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time," he later added.
Millions of Syrians, many risking their lives, have been fleeing a civil war that has killed more than 250,000 people since March 2011. As many as 9 million people have been displaced, including more than 4 million who have fled the country, according to the United Nations.
Secretary of State John Kerry announced earlier this month that the U.S. would significantly increase the number of migrants it takes in over the next two years.
Trump has also said he supports Russia's military involvement in Syria, which the U.S. strongly opposes.