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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

By Alana Wise and Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Ted Cruz, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, said on Tuesday that he introduced legislation to give governors the ability to opt out of refugee resettlement programs.

Cruz said that if President Barack Obama wanted to send refugees to any state, his legislation would let its governor refuse to participate, “to conclude that the federal government has not done a sufficient job ensuring that the safety and security of the citizens of the state will be protected.”

The comments came at a news conference with Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Cruz’s home state of Texas. Abbott was one of the first U.S. governors to seek to block the resettlement of refugees from Syria.

Many Americans have worried that those refugees might include militants allied to the Islamic State. Such fears have intensified since the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris and last week’s killings in San Bernardino, California.

“We are at a time of war,” Cruz said.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation after the Paris attacks that would make it more difficult for refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq to enter the country. That measure has not yet come up in the Senate, although some lawmakers want it included in a massive spending bill Congress must pass in the next few days to keep the government open.

Congress’ Republican leaders have not yet disclosed their plans for the legislation.

Obama, a Democrat, plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year, a decision many Republicans have opposed since it was announced in September.

Three Senate Democrats held a news conference on Tuesday with religious leaders who oppose including the House refugee measure in the spending bill.

“These refugees are not our enemies,” Senator Tim Kaine said. “They are fleeing our enemies.”

Cruz said he had also authored legislation to impose a three-year moratorium on refugees coming from countries where Islamic State or al Qaeda controlled significant territory, and another measure that would strip U.S. citizenship from any American who traveled abroad to fight with militant groups.

Cruz also commended businessman Donald Trump, who is vying with him for the Republican nomination for president, for “standing up and focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.”

Trump has proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States.

(Reporting by Alana Wise and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a 2nd Amendment Coalition announcement at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa, December 4, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank

13 Responses to Senator Cruz Introduces Bill To Let States Reject Refugees

      • Hi grandbaby1: Sorry, I did not understand your response. “Not” counter-productive??? or Not something else? If the former, I would tend to think that most Christians would not support efforts to purposely import Muslims or, for that matter, large numbers of any group of non-Christians. Do you have some reason to think otherwise?

        • Yes many Christian orgs sponsored these people mainly cause intakes them feel good about themselves that they are doing the Godly thing. I have Muslims across the street from me and Hindu next to me all brought here by Christian org or at least sponsored by them.

          • Hi g: Any problems yet? Do the Muslims make you a bit worried? Do you happen to know if they have jobs? Why do you think it is the Godly thing to do? Do not answer this question if you think it inappropriate: are you Christian?

          • No worries. They are the sweetest giving family. They work hard at full time jobs they have the prettiest yard full of beautiful flowers and vegetables which they share with neighbors, they help out everyone. Yes it is GODLY because if you believe God created man then you must believe he created them too.

  1. Next, that sleazy snake oil salesman will introduce a bill requiring all Muslims to wear star-and-crescent badges. Oh wait, Trump already beat him to it…

  2. Liberals say diversity is great and these refugees are an economic boon, so blue states should be excited about being able to keep all the refugees.

  3. Once more dough-boy, creep out sorority girls, peeing in Depends, Cruz, is showing us he is a nutle$$ weasel.

    And the clueless GOP/TP want THIS guy to be Commander-in-Chief? Shame!

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