Ben Carson is home from Jordan, where he visited Syrian refugee camps. He remains opposed to allowing refugees into the United States, telling the Today show that they would become dangerous to our country

Particularly if you bring them into an environment where a lot people of are resentful of the fact that they are here. That’s just going to create incidents that will increase further the likelihood of radicalization.

In other words, he's actually saying the words that the satirical paper The Onion mockingly put into his mouth a few weeks ago with the headline: GOP Warns Refugees Likely To Be Driven To Terrorism By Way America Would Treat Them.

It took me a minute, but then I remembered where else I’d heard this argument before. Then I remembered: It’s from pro-choicers, who have long claimed that we need abortion because when babies are unwanted, their resentful mothers will abuse them, and they will grow up to be criminals.

We can answer pro-choicers who make this argument with two counter-arguments.

First is that the numbers simply don't bear the argument out. If you look closely at actual statistics, you will see that there is no evidence that easy access to abortion causes crime rates to fall.

The second counter-argument is that we just don’t do that. We don’t kill people because we think they’re likely to turn bad some day. We just don’t do that to people. If we think they’re likely to be thrust into miserable conditions which will make them more likely to turn to crime, then we don’t exterminate them preemptively. Instead, being human, we improve their conditions. We offer adoption, we offer material and emotional support to mothers, we work to improve schools, we work to improve safety in neighborhoods, we try to offer mentorship and job training. We work to help them build a productive, integrated life. We do not ostracize them because of how they happen to have been born. We punish them according to the law when they do wrong, but we don't punish them preemptively. 

At least, these are the things we should be doing, if we want to call ourselves pro-life. We don’t kill people because we think they’re likely to turn bad someday.

And we can make the same two arguments against Carson’s anti-refugee stance.

The first counter-argument is that the numbers simply don’t bear out his theory: if you look at actual statistics, it’s not refugees who are perpetrating acts of terror. Most of the deaths from terrorist attacks in the U.S. have come from white, non-Muslim men born in the United States. Terrorist attacks by Muslims, such as the Boston Marathon bombing, have come from non-refugees, from populations who had a much easier time finding a home in our country. And finally, it's actually refugee camps outside the U.S. are among the most fertile breeding grounds for radicalization

The second counter-argument is that we don’t do that. We don’t tell people, “Sorry, you have to stay in a country where you are very likely to die a horrible death, because we think you’re likely to turn bad someday.” We just don’t do that to people. If we think they’re likely to be thrust into miserable conditions which will make them more likely to turn to terrorism, then we don’t exterminate them preemptively. Instead, being human, we improve their conditions. We offer asylum, we offer material and emotional support to parents, we welcome refugee children into the schools, we work to improve safety in neighborhoods where refugees settle, we try to offer mentorship and job training. We work to help them build a productive, integrated life. We do not ostracize them because of how they happen to have been born. We punish them according to the law when they do wrong, but we don't punish them pre-emptively. 

At least, these are the things we should be doing, if we want to call ourselves pro-life. We don’t kill people because we think they’re likely to turn bad someday.

I’m not going to pretend that it's easy to figure out how to respond to the refugee crisis. We have real reason to be afraid of terror attacks from radicalized Muslims, and one of the basic functions of government is to keep our country peaceful and safe. I’m not in favor of just opening the flood gates and welcoming in anyone who can tell a sad story.

But we cannot say what Ben Carson has said, especially as pro-lifers. We cannot. There has to be some middle ground between “Come one, come all” and Carson's response, which boils down to: “Too bad for you – you go die now.”