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Republican debate: Fact checking Donald Trump on "strong, powerful men" from Syria

Republican U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump (C) turns back towards his podium between rivals Senator Marco Rubio (L) and Senator Ted Cruz (R) before the start of the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston, South Carolina, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane

REUTERS/Chris Keane

In Thursday night's Republican debate, front runner Donald Trump warned against letting Syrian refugees into the United States, arguing that the refugee process could be a "Trojan horse" for terrorists.

Trump said he "looked at the migration" and asked himself, "Where are the women?" Instead, he said he saw "very strong, powerful men, young," coming into the United States.

"People are looking that and saying, 'What's going on?'" he said.

In fact, in November, the State Department clarified that so far, only about 2 percent of the Syrian refugees entering the United States have been single men of "combat age." Roughly half of the Syrian refugees are children, and 2.5 percent are adults over 60.

The vetting process for refugees is "quite intensive and involves several government agencies," a senior official said. The approval rate for refugees seeking asylum in the United States in November stood at just over 50 percent, senior administration officials said. The process for obtaining refugee status in the United States typically takes 18 to 24 months.