Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who is running for president, announced his proposal today to bar refugees from settling in the states if they come from a country controlled by a foreign terrorist organization like ISIS.
That would impact refugees from Syria and Iraq.
“This week, at least 21 Syrian refugees are scheduled to arrive in Texas, perhaps hundreds more during the next year,” Cruz said. “This makes no sense. We should not be bringing in refugees when our own FBI tells us we can’t ascertain whether or not they are ISIS terrorists.”
Gov. Greg Abbott said he supports the proposal, which is called the State Refugee Security Act.
“It ensures citizens of Texas and around the country to pursue charitable ends to help those who are in need, while at the very same time ensuring states are going to be able to keep their communities safe and secure,” Abbott said. “America is a charitable nation, but we cannot allow the charity for some to compromise the safety for all.”
The proposal would impose a three-year moratorium on the refugees coming from countries where ISIS or Al Qaeda controls a substantial amount of territory. Cruz aid it’s legislation targeted directly at the problem.
A second piece of legislation would protect the authority of states and governors, giving them the ability to opt out of accepting refugees.
Finally the third Ex-Patriot Terrorist Act says if an American travels abroad and joins ISIS, takes up arms and proclaims war against the United States, he or she then forfeits their U.S. citizenship.
“We should not be allowing ISIS terrorists to come into America with a U.S. passport and wage jihad against innocent citizens. All of these are common sense steps to keep America safe,” Cruz said.
Of the nearly two dozen refugees headed to Texas from Syria this week, one family resettled in Dallas on Monday.
Those six people moved into a Dallas area apartment complex were other Syrian families already live and have been reunited with relatives in North Texas.
The family initially planned to speak with reporters and made plans to do so on Wednesday, but on Tuesday, a volunteer group helping the family said the refugees are under intense pressure from the agency that resettled them to cancel, and so they have.
Meanwhile, the political debate over other refugee families’ futures pushes on.
Mouaz Allababidi, a North Texas business owner who left Syria 20 years ago and volunteers to help local refugees, is asking Gov. Abbott to meet with a family escaping war for a life in Texas.
“This country has given us so much,” said Allababidi. “We should give these other families and immigrants an opportunity, just like we were given in the first place.”