Obama, as he has twice before during his nine-day trip, rejected the notion that providing safe haven to refugees amounted to a security risk.

“We have shown that we can welcome refugees and ensure our security — that there’s no contradiction,” he said at the refu­gee center. The children he met with were a mix of refugees and migrants from Burma, Somalia and Sudan, administration officials said.

“As long as I’m president,” Obama continued, “we will keep on stepping up and ensure America remains, as it has always been, a place where people who in other parts of the world are subject to discrimination and violence have in America a friend and a place of refuge.”