Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who recently lost a bid to become the Republican presidential nominee, has just released a new statement calling for a ban on refugees from the Middle East.
In a statement to the Washington Free Beacon, he said Congress should act “to stop the flow of refugees from hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East that President Obama is determined to bring to our country.” He’s apparently referencing the White House’s plan to increase the number of refugees the U.S. will welcome from next year.
Those refugees are highly-vetted, and are among some of the most vulnerable families now living in refugee camps many after escaping war, violence in ISIS in Syria, where millions have been displaced.
Cruz’s statement also seems to linked this weekend’s terrorist attacks to the current refugee crisis, even though neither of the alleged attackers are Syrian, and both have lived in the country for years. He said,
Terrorist attacks over the last several days across our homeland, from Manhattan to Minnesota, indicate we are moving into a new phase of the war against ISIS and al Qaida, who are increasingly targeting Europe and the United States … Congress should act to prevent Americans who have travelled abroad for training from returning here, and to stop the flow of refugees from hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East that President Obama is determined to bring to our country.
As Slate noted, the alleged attacker in Minnesota was an ethnic Somali born in Kenya so it’s unclear how he would have even been affected by Cruz’s proposed ban on “hotbeds of terrorism in the Middle East.” Cruz previously introduced a bill called the “Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015” which sought to ban almost all refugees from the following countries: Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Iraq.