Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday called for an end to the refugee program in the United States, following a weekend of potential terror attacks in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey.
In a statement, Cruz linked the attacks to the country admitting refugees, saying that Congress must stop allowing in anyone from countries that are “hot beds” of terrorism.
“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,” he said in the statement, according to the Free Beacon. “We can’t overcome our enemies by pretending they don’t exist, and undermining our first line of defenders.”
Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in several bombings this weekend in New York and New Jersey, is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan. It’s unclear how he immigrated to the U.S. from Afghanistan.
Cruz has been sounding the same alarm on refugees for nearly a year, introducing a bill last November that would ban Syrian refugees in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, according to The Hill.
It also echoes Cruz’s sometimes-foe Donald Trump’s call to profile people who “come from that part of the world” in light of the weekend’s attacks.
Read the full statement below:
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. Two years ago, a focused, aggressive military campaign against ISIS’s claimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq might have effectively destroyed the terrorist group, but ISIS has instead spent the last year seeding radicals in the West, disguising jihadis as refugees and radicalizing Muslim citizens online and encouraging them to remain in the U.S. and fight here. Meanwhile, other networks such as al Qaida and the Taliban remain determined to resume the attacks on America that began on September 11, 2001.
As we confront this new phase, we must avoid the trap of misconceiving these attacks as isolated incidents somehow disconnected from the larger ideological struggle against jihad. It is past time to take off the blinders and call the enemy what it is: radical Islamic terrorism engaged in a coordinated campaign designed to disrupt our very way of life.
We must start by fully supporting our law enforcement community, from the heroic off-duty officer Jason Falconer, who neutralized the terrorist in the St. Cloud mall, saving many lives, to the FBI officers in New York who have worked swiftly to identify and apprehend the likely mastermind of the weekend bombings. We also desperately need the active participation of American Muslims who see the jihadis for what they are: the enemies of all who celebrate freedom and tolerance. 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. We can’t overcome our enemies by pretending they don’t exist, and undermining our first line of defenders. Only together, clear-eyed and determined, can we defeat this foe.