Dems Block Cruz Refugee Legislation
The Democrats blocked Sen. Ted Cruz’s xenophobic Syrian refugee legislation on Thursday.
Cruz wanted to restrict refugees travelling from terrorist controlled territories from entering the United States under the guise of security.
He slammed his Senate colleagues, saying that they didn’t have the best interests of the country in mind.
“[This] legislation would stop President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s plan to bring in tens of thousands of Syrian Muslim refugees to the United States,” Cruz said. “The Democratic senators in this body have chosen to stand with President Obama and his absurd political correctness, his unwillingness even to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.'”
“I’m worried in this country that we hear rhetoric that is dangerous, and it’s time to stop,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee. “It shames the very nature of what America is. We hear ideas that are — they’re wrong. I would say they are deeply un-American.”
The Hill reports:
Cruz, however, fired back that Leahy “spoke against overheated rhetoric, and in the very next breath accused me of being anti-American. … Let me say speaking the truth is not terrorism.”
Durbin added that looking back, Americans will hope that “saner voices” prevail in the ongoing debate over refugees.
“In time of war, in time of attack, sometimes rash decisions are made. I predict in the course of history, as people in the future reflect on what happened in the United States Senate and the House of Representatives this week, they hope that saner voices will prevail,” he said.
Cruz’s legislation, which would expire after three years, would provide a loophole to refugees from the countries that are otherwise blocked if they can provide “beyond doubt” that they qualify as a refugee and have been designated either by the State Department or by Congress as a victim of genocide.
Under the loophole, refugees would have to undergo vetting and the departments of State, Defense and Homeland Security, and the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence would have to certify that the refugee isn’t a national security threat.
The Senate Democrats also blocked a push from Cruz to get unanimous consent to pass legislation that would revoke passports for Americans that have joined terrorist organizations.
Photo credit: Salon.